Brooklyn DA

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Brooklyn DA TV Poster Image
Legal docuseries with violent stories, harsh language.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Justice is paramount, and viewers see police, judges, and prosecutors working hard to nab criminals and support victims. Hard work, determination, and a sense of humor are all celebrated.

Positive Role Models & Representations

DA's office employees appear motivated to keep their residents and neighborhoods safe. They work hard and appear professional. They are a diverse group, which gives teens a variety of potential role models to identify with.

Violence

Injuries and violent deaths resulting from gunshots, arson, and other activities are described in detail. Some of these cases involve children. Cases often deal with issues like prostitution, sex trafficking, sexual deviance.

Sex

 Art pieces that are the center of specific cases sometimes feature nude images.

Language

Words like "ass" audible;  "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Occasionally specific car makes, like Mercedes-Benz, are central to a case. Logos for Chevrolet, Ford, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, The North Face, and others are randomly visible, but not prominently featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking is visible. Drinking and drugs are often details discussed in cases. Wine is consumed over meals.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brooklyn DA is a documentary series with lots of discussions about violent deaths, thieving, and sex- and drug-related crimes, some of which include children, though details are not usually visible. There's some occasional bleeped cursing, too. All of this is offered within the context of showing how the criminal justice system works, but it's pretty strong stuff, and not meant for younger kids at all.

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What's the story?

BROOKLYN DA is a documentary series that follows members of New York's Kings County district attorney's office as the legal team works hard to convict folks who allegedly committed crimes in their jurisdiction. Cameras follow folks from a wide-variety of the office's bureaus and departments, including newbie Assistant DA Kathleen Collins of the Sex Crimes Division, investigative attorney and Racketeering Division Bureau chief Lawrence Oh, Homicide Bureau Chief Ken Taub, and Deputy DA John O'Mara, of the Conviction Integrity Unit, as they work with investigators, witnesses, and fellow prosecutors to investigate crimes, interview alleged criminals, and try cases. Working in one of the largest urban district attorney's offices in the country isn't easy, and despite their hard work and long hours, they aren't always able to put away the bad guys. But as they navigate the criminal justice system, every success is a victory.

Is it any good?

Brooklyn DA shows the behind-the-scenes work that goes into investigating a wide variety of criminal cases, including art heists, arson, sex trafficking, and homicide. It also offers a limited look at the various ways prosecutors build cases against alleged criminals in order to prosecute them for their crimes. Footage from the courtroom also sheds light on the work they do. Meanwhile, the complicated nature of various cases is revealed, especially when things unexpectedly go wrong during the process.

Some of the crime victims' stories, which are offered as a way of providing details about specific cases, are  heart-wrenchingly difficult to listen to. But these narratives also underscore the reasons why the prosecutors featured here are committed to doing their jobs well. Seeing some of them with their families and/or engaging in some lighthearted and quirky behavior makes these folks appear very personable, too. But it's the details about the individual cases and how they are tried that are the most interesting, and are what makes the series worth tuning in to.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to work in a district attorney's office. What is the difference between a DA and a regular lawyer? How does a DA get the job? What are some of the unique challenges that come with working in a DA's office?

  • What are some of the most notable TV and film portrayals of lawyers over the years? Is the way they present the job of an attorney accurate? Or is their job glamorized for entertainment's sake? Does this series offer a realistic portrayal of what lawyers do? Why or why not?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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