Close to Home

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Close to Home TV Poster Image
Dull legal drama will bore teens, scare kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main characters are upstanding citizens fighting on the side of the good guys. The lead character is a working mom.


Only some minor violence is shown, but plenty is discussed (including rape).


Adultery is discussed, but not shown.


Not common, but "bitch" and other mild curse words do pop up.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

An occasional plotline is based on drug addiction or a drug-related crime.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dull legal drama deals with violent crimes like rape, torture, and robbery, though the action is rarely graphic. The premise of the show is that danger lurks even in the safest-looking places -- not the most reassuring message for youngsters. On the plus side, the lead characters are both strong women in powerful positions, and the cast is generally multicultural.

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What's the story?

The idea behind CLOSE TO HOME is an intriguing one: It's a cop-lawyer drama taken out of the city and moved to the picture-perfect suburbs. Pretty, first-time mom (Jennifer Finnigan as lawyer Annabeth Chase) is fresh from maternity leave and is the new lead prosecutor, working to protect the community from incidents of abuse, arson, rape, burglary, and more. For example, one episode begins with a jewelry store robbery and ends up investigating an escape convict's possible abduction of a prison librarian. The librarian, we learn, shows signs of Stockholm Syndrome, a la Patty Hearst, and might even be pregnant with her abductor's child. Kimberly Elise plays Maureen Dobie, Annabeth's coworker and sometimes rival.

Is it any good?

Sadly, this show's premise doesn't reward viewers with any real psychological or emotional payoff. The plots rely too heavily on well-worn territory that other shows, like Law & Order and CSI, do with much more thrill. The actors are fine, but they're never given the space to dig in and show their stuff.

Close to Home's topics can tread into disturbing territory for young viewers. In the episode mentioned above, the mother suffering from Stockholm Syndrome rejects her preteen daughter upon their reunion. Another episode features kids who have been severely abused by a parent. And even if younger viewers can tolerate the sometimes-creepy storylines, they may still be bored by the lack of real drama.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about appearance versus reality. Are the suburbs really safer than cities? What can make a place feel safe or dangerous? Parents can reassure kids that the show's criminal scenarios are written to be as dramatic as possible and are not necessarily realistic or common.

TV details

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