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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The teen characters have to rely on their wits and each other to survive their poor neighborhood's mean streets. This show doesn't provide lessons, per say, but it's eye-opening and informative.
Violence & Scariness
The drug lords pull guns on their victims and also use emotional manipulation to get their way. The slum that the characters live in is violent by nature.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and kissing. Later seasons find the teen characters thinking a lot about sex. One of the characters' older, unmarried sisters gets pregnant.
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"Chicken s--t" is spelled out in a subtitle.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The boys' neighborhood lives and breathes the drug trade, and they interact with many people who are invovled in dealing/using/selling.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this somewhat gritty Brazilian series centers around the lives of a pair of teen boys who live in an impoverished area of Rio de Janeiro. They encounter violence every day, most often generated by the drug lords who rule the streets. Though this may alarm some viewers, the show is well done and may serve to open the eyes of teens who aren't aware of how their peers across the globe live.
Is It Any Good?
Subtitles and complex storytelling can make the show a bit tricky to follow, but City of Men is engrossing television. Fast-moving scenes expertly convey the chaotic environment in which the boys live. Though parents might be wary of exposing their kids to the show's drugs and violence, the series is much more lighthearted than the movie, and it might even enlighten some young viewers about the conditions in which other kids their age live.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate