A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Explores issues like racism, homophobia, police corruption, other themes related to political and judiciary climate of Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 1990s.
Positive Role Models
Among law enforcement and prosecutors, it's sometimes hard to separate the good from the bad, thanks to political and social pressures.
Violence & Scariness
Assaults and shootings visible; pistols and automatic rifles used. Murders are frequent. Blood and injuries are shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Simulated sex acts and nudity.
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Lots of strong profanity and rude gestures, including "f--k" and "s--t." Racist and homophobic slurs audible.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and cigarette smoking frequent. Marijuana and cocaine use visible.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that City on a Hill is a violent crime series set in 1990s Boston. It explores themes like racial tensions and classism stemming from the events surrounding a real-life murder case. Assaults, bloody injuries, shootings, and murders are frequent, and simulated sexual behavior (which sometimes includes nudity) is shown. There's a lot of profanity, which ranges from curses to racial and homophobic slurs, some of which were frequently used at the time. Drinking and cigarette smoking is often shown, and marijuana and cocaine use is visible from time to time.
Is It Any Good?
This gritty, well-written series is inspired by the real-life events following the murder of affluent tax attorney Carol Stuart in 1989, which intensified the existing racial tensions throughout the greater Boston area at that time. It highlights how these events challenged the existing culture within law enforcement, and the resistance to these changes. Each storyline, which ranges from marital and family dynamics to theft and murder, is set against this backdrop, highlighting the different and sometimes subtle ways the sociopolitical climate impacts each character. But while City on a Hill is set in the past, many of the discussions surrounding race, class, and police misconduct feel as relevant today as they were back then. Given the troubling subject matter, it's not always a comfortable series to watch, but it's always entertaining.
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.