What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the violence in this show can quite disturbing; for example, in one scene a teenager has a bomb strapped to his chest, and the bomb explodes. Also, racism and sexism are prevalent as a mechanism for generating laughs, but such remarks come across as truly disparaging.
What's the story?
HEIST, NBC's primetime comedic drama helmed by acclaimed director Doug Liman, stars Dougray Scott as Mickey O'Neil, a con man who's planning a burglary of epic proportions. Mickey's assembled a band of professional thieves (including Steve Harris, Seymour Cassel, Marika Dominczyk, and David Walton) to simultaneously rob three jewelry stores in Beverly Hills during the week leading up to the Academy Awards. While preparations for the heist are under way, LAPD detective Amy Sykes (Michele Hicks) -- along with partners Billy O'Brien (Billy Gardell) and Tyrese Evans (Reno Wilson) -- investigate a series of prior thefts committed by Mickey's team, unaware that the burglars are already planning something much bigger. Mickey intends to "keep his enemies close" by getting to know Amy, but ends up falling for her instead. Little does Amy suspect that her new love interest is actually the leader of the clever crew she's trying to nab.
Is it any good?
Reminiscent of Ocean's Eleven in its main plotline, Heist unfortunately only ends up being engaging when the thieves are doing what they do best -- executing an intricate, well-thought-out plan that's intended to throw the cops off their track. The script is sadly uneven; on rare occasions, the crooks' banter and the cutting remarks between the cops are amusing, but other times they weigh down the show and even border on offensive. (Two cops assigned as partners -- one black, one white and overweight -- make racist and fat jokes about each other that are disparaging to the point of being truly unfunny.)
Mickey and Amy's subplot provides an intriguing hook, but some of the other plotlines -- such as Pops' (Cassel) visits to his Alzheimer's-stricken wife -- seem overly sentimental and disrupt the flow of the action. The show's worst offense, however, is that very few of the characters are actually likable, which can make their interactions painful to sit through. If you can get past the hit-and-miss humor and the silly/snippety dialogue, the scenes that actually relate to the planning of the heist are fun to watch -- but that's not enough to recommend the show.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the characters' questionable behavior. First up is sexism: How do these men seem to view women? Why is this disrespectful? What could they do instead? Next are the racist remarks thrown at a black cop by his white partner. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of those remarks? Do you find this kind of humor appealing or just insulting? How do you react when you hear your friends make racist remarks?