Good Behavior

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Good Behavior TV Poster Image
A woman is drawn to dark choices in quality crime drama.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The plot is dark, but characters draw a line between financial and violent crimes. There are consequences for bad behavior on this show, where a woman who has committed crimes went to prison and leads a marginal, depressing life, struggling with alcoholism. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Letty, who has made mistakes and cynically believes everyone is out to deceive everyone else, struggles for redemption even as she continues to commit crimes. She lies and steals, yet attempts to intervene in a crime she fears will end in a death. 


A man hires a hit man to kill his wife, they plot her murder, including a "broken neck." The morning after Letty drinks excessively, she sticks her fingers down her throat to vomit. Attempting to stop a murder, Letty and another character threaten each other with guns. A man holds a gun to a woman's head as she begs him to kill her. 


A man and woman who just met have sex in a hotel room with moaning and thrusting; no nudity. A woman steals a bra and tries it on.


Unbleeped cursing: "a--hole," "s--t." Bleeped "f--k." A man calls a woman a "junkie whore." A man makes a crude remark to a waitress: "You know what'd look good on you? Me."


Brand mentions: Starbucks, Jack Daniels. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While stealing from hotel rooms, Letty takes dozens of tiny liquor bottles from an in-room bar; while celebrating a week of sobriety says she and her parole officer should "go get wasted." Adult characters have numerous cocktails and beer at a bar and restaurant, refer to getting drunk, act silly and do foolish things. Letty suffers consequences, including a hangover during which she vomits after excessive drinking. An unsympathetic character smokes a cigarette. Letty buys a large amount of crack and then rigs up a pipe and smokes it. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Good Behavior is a tense drama about a woman who has made many mistakes and is about to make more. On-screen substance abuse includes excessive drinking (followed by poor choices and a hangover with vomiting), and a character buys and smokes crack. An unsympathetic character smokes a cigarette. Violence includes a woman attempting to stop a hit man from killing someone; a man holds a loaded gun against a woman's forehead as she begs him to kill her. Murder is viewed as a solution to some problems; dead bodies are shown wrapped in plastic for disposal. A man and woman have sex soon after meeting for the first time with moaning and thrusting but no nudity. Cursing includes "s--t" and "a--hole"; "f--k" is bleeped.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydfilmpro December 13, 2020

A hard "R" TV show. not for kids, and some adults.

The CSM review is incorrect. I watched on hulu. There’s sex, violence, language, and some dialog that is straight from a porn movie (seriously). Too bad, the... Continue reading
Adult Written byS E January 14, 2017

Totally inappropriate for children

...and for this adult too. Lots of nudity and sex, and it's almost all unnecessary and adds nothing to the story. If this was a movie, it would be X-rat... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCiufixStix November 16, 2017

The best

I think this in a good movie and you can see it with your kid, is not a big deal...
But...the kid must be older then 12

What's the story?

Letty Dobesh (Michelle Dockery) was released early from a prison sentence for GOOD BEHAVIOR, but that parole board didn't know what was coming next. With her life decimated by her past, Letty can't see much of a future. She passes the time trying to stay away from alcohol, lying to her parole officer, and committing petty thievery at a hotel where an accomplice gives her a master key. But her minor crimes lead to major ones when she overhears a man hiring hit man Javier (Juan Diego Botto) to kill his wife. Hoping to save her, Letty attempts to intercede. Before she knows it, she's in over her head with Javier, on the run, and on the road to even more trouble. 

Is it any good?

Though its characters and setting read as clichéd, this crime drama scores with excellent writing and high-caliber acting. As a not-so-good woman caught in the clutch of circumstance, Dockery is electric and compelling, worlds away from Downton Abbey's superior Lady Mary. "I'm a piece of s--t," she moans after a series of twists have landed her in a cheap motel room with a supply of crack and $18,000. "Kill me," she begs of the man who's come to find her to seek revenge. "I'm not letting you off that easy," he growls back. "You work for me now." In an instant, a dreamed-of future in which Letty is clean, sober, successful, and reunited with her young son crumbles, and a new path opens up for her -- one in which she's beholden to a man who's a bringer of death and clinging to her last shreds of humanity.

Sounds depressing, and in less sure hands it could be. Instead, Good Behavior keeps you guessing as to what's coming next. You're not sure you like Letty -- and you definitely wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley -- but she's so dismally appealing that you can't help wanting to know what she'll do next. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dysfunctional characters in Good Behavior and discuss why writers so often turn to them for good material. Why is a person with serious problems a more compelling character than one with a calm, "normal" life? 

  • Is the audience supposed to sympathize with Letty? How can you tell? How are we supposed to regard her many transgressions? How is a sympathetic character presented, and how is that different from an unsympathetic character? 

  • Criminal enterprises are often the setting for dark dramas. What other examples can you name? How does the show keep you invested in characters who do bad things?  

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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