Parents' Guide to


By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intense Canadian cop show explores effects of violence.

TV CBS Drama 2008
Flashpoint Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Great action, but shows emotion too

This show doesn't just focus on the intense situations in which the characters are involved; it also focuses on all the emotional aspects of being in these scenarios, whether they end good or bad. It shows that the criminals have justification, but that it is never a good idea to solve your problems with violence. The last great thing about this show is that the police always think of killing as the last option. The show focuses strongly on the negotiations between the criminals and the police, and they use non-lethal methods (e.g. gas, surprise) most of the time. I think that this is a great show that teaches kids that there is more to it than just good people and bad people; there is a whole spectrum.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (9):

Plenty of cop shows -- especially the American ones -- glamorize the action and skirt around the issue of emotional fallout; this one deserves credit for steering the focus toward the characters' feelings at play in these life-and-death situations. Rather than sticking to visual drama and suspense, the show attempts to tell the back stories that impact the actions of the cops as well as the offenders. The result is a more cerebral take on the standard police drama like Law & Order, with the obvious omission of any courtroom scenes allowing more time to explore the characters' state of mind and motivations for their actions. In some cases, this blurs the line between black and white, right and wrong, reflecting the complicated nature of the law when it's filtered through human emotions.

That said, the fact that Flashpoint almost goes out of its way to portray a shooting as a negative experience can bog the show down a bit. Some scenarios warrant using lethal force on an offender, but the decision to do so is a lengthy, agonizing one. On one hand, it gives viewers a better sense of the issues at play in a real-world version of the events; on the other, it works against the show's entertainment factor. Ultimately, though, this is a heady commentary on the work of elite public servants whose jobs put them in harm's way and force them to make life-and-death decisions every day.

TV Details

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