A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
As with many cop shows, the values of loyalty, particularly to one's partner but also to the police force, is stressed often and explicitly. Officers also frequently discuss their duty to the victims of crime and grieving loved ones of those murdered. The idea that the ends justify the means runs throughout.
Positive Role Models
The officers on the show are hard-working and dogged. However, many of them, particularly lead character Walter William Clark, sometimes do unethical things, reasoning that the ends justify the means.
Violence & Scariness
Guns are frequently brandished and fired; we see dead bodies draped with sheets, gunshots that connect with a spray of blood, and officers slamming suspects around. Clark's sister is involved with a man who physically abuses her and we see her bruised face. Some sexual crimes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is frequently referred to in relation to crime, as when a reporter says a suspect "can't get a girl's legs open without roofies or coke."
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Some cursing: "I don't give a damn." Some racial language: "it's as cold as an Eskimo's nuts" and "blasting two boat people doesn't impress me."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent references to drugs in connection to crime, with characters referred to as junkies or smack peddlers. Characters drink onscreen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Golden Boy is a tense serial police drama centering around a character who makes questionable moral decisions such as gathering evidence without a warrant because he believes the ends justify the means. He is also ruthlessly ambitious and willing to go quite far in order to advance in the police force. Cops and bad guys frequently brandish and fire guns; characters are killed by gunshots and we see blood and gore. Police officers treat suspects roughly and slam them up against cars. There is some cursing ("damn," "hell"), and racial insults (references to Eskimo body parts being cold, and "boat people"), as well as references to drugs and sex in relation to crime.
Is It Any Good?
Another cop show, really? Yet Golden Boy boasts a terrific cast, including the gravitas-laden Chi McBride in a lead role, and compelling Theo James (you may recognize him as Lady Mary's fateful Turkish suitor from Downton Abbey) at the center of the action.
The show's flashback premise is also not unique; viewers will recall the gimmick from shows like The Nine and Lost. The formula is oft-used, because it works: Viewers will be particularly intrigued by the hints dropped about mayhem to come, and want to know how Clark got from where he was to the "big chair at the 1PP." And thus despite being nothing new, the show works.
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.