A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the star of this reality show is a former convict who now spends his time hunting down fugitives from the law. This means that his work takes him to some seedy spots (including drug-infested neighborhoods) and gives viewers a good look at some hardened, careless criminals. He sometimes threatens to use force, but actual conflicts are rare, and violence isn't a big issue.
What's the story?
In DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, Duane \"Dog\" Chapman and his family risk their lives to capture suspects who've gone on the lam. Chapman is an ex-con himself; after spending time in a Texas prison, he vowed to redeem himself by working with the law to catch fugitives. Joining him are his wife, Beth; son, Leland; \"blood brother,\" Tim; and nephew, Justin. The gang travels to rough communities, dank hotels, and even drug-infested neighborhoods in search of their prey.
Is it any good?
Often, the Chapmans find that the person they've been searching for has already been apprehended by the police -- which means they don't get their $5000 bounty. Other times, Chapman, whose weathered exterior and all-black ensembles belie his sensitive side, takes pity on the fugitives he's seeking and agrees to let them go if they turn themselves in the next day.
What's great about Dog the Bounty Hunter is that it allows viewers to see a side of the law that's not often portrayed. When Chapman apprehends a suspect, he's a tough talker, but -- being a former criminal himself -- he's able to speak frankly to those on the lam and help them see the error of their ways. Though the subject matter is gritty, it isn't too violent, and parents don't have to worry about letting their tweens watch.