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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show privileges brains over brawn, and rewards the "good guys" who use their smarts and talent to solve crimes.
Positive Role Models
Ellery Queen uses his powers of deduction and intellect to solve crimes, and doesn't resort to violence. He also is a cool operator: when presented with a robber who brandishes a gun at him, he suggests they talk things out -- and then slips sleeping pills into the robber's tea. Ellery and his father have a loving yet cranky dynamic that's definitely relatable.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is alluded to frequently. A dying woman is shown crawling across a room, though no obvious injury is shown. Another man jumps off a building to his death. Most scenes that feature a murder or death are filmed in a way that skirts the actual moment of violence. Weapons, mainly handguns, are shown and pointed at people.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extramarital affairs are mentioned, but very little romantic contact.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigars and cigarettes (as was common for the era) and drink alcoholic beverages, but rarely to excess.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 1970's-era television series deals with solving violent crimes including murder. The murders are rarely shown onscreen and violence is mainly alluded to, after the fact. There are brief mentions of sexual affairs, and some period-appropriate smoking and drinking.
Is It Any Good?
ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERIES is a smartly written and well-acted show with a lot of great chemistry between the two main characters, Ellery and Richard Queen. The show also provides an entertaining glimpse of the 1940s -- albeit therough a mid-'70s lens. Kids will enjoy the effects used by the radio drama players, as well as the retro technology, including typewriters, first-generation televisions, and speaker systems in offices. The mysteries are fun to solve, and there are plenty of red herrings along the way to keep both parents' and kids' deductive reasoning skills firing. However, the slower pace of this show, with longer scenes and less action, may be boring to modern teens.
Each episode features a breaking-of-the-fourth-wall dramatic moment, where Ellery Queen steps out of the episode and asks the viewing audience to consider the facts of the case, telling them that they have all of the evidence they need to solve the crime. This device, though a little hokey, does provide families the opportunity to pause the show and discuss the facts as a family and see if they can solve the mystery before Ellery does.
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.