Human Target



Fun but action-heavy crime drama OK for teens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Everybody has secrets, and in this series, those secrets usually come back to haunt people. The main character works as a private bodyguard; his clients don’t always share the entire truth about why they might be targets, and this lack of information usually hampers his task. Other characters also use information as leverage to convince people help them.

Positive role models

Christopher Chance is a man of both integrity and mystery. When he takes on a bodyguard assignment, he puts his own life on the line to protect his client, even though the job often requires him to deceive both his clients and potential assassins. He shares little about his personal life, and what he does reveal might or might not be the truth, including details about how he became such a well-trained combatant and why he's so eager to take on such dangerous jobs.


Plenty of action -- including explosions, gunfights, and hand-to-hand combat -- though little blood or gore. The fistfights feature a mix of skilled martial arts moves and all-out brawling, making them slightly more intense than the average TV rumble.


Some flirting and kissing, and suggestions that characters are about to fool around.


Rare words like "sucks" and "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters sometimes relax with drinks after a hard mission, and couples sometimes share wine during romantic interludes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this satisfying crime drama has some pretty intense fight scenes. Chance, the main character, is an expert in martial arts and weapons who protects people whose lives are in danger. When the assailants finally reveal themselves, Chance is there to save the day -- which sometimes results in explosions, gunfights, and more. Much of the rest of the show's content (including language and sex) is on the milder side, but while there’s little blood or gore, the combat sequences are a bit heavier-duty than the average TV brawl.

What's the story?

Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) looks like any average guy, just another face in the crowd -- which is a key asset in his unusual profession. He calls himself a security expert, and he typically gets called in as a specialized bodyguard to protect people whose lives are in danger. Chance inserts himself into his clients’ lives, blending into the background. But when the assailants reveal themselves, he emerges to shield the potential victims by making himself a HUMAN TARGET.

Is it any good?


Chance exudes calm -- he's always in control and always aware of his surroundings, which makes him seem both a consummate professional and a man of mystery. Who is he? Where did he become a martial arts expert and fluent in Japanese? Valley makes this enigmatic character appealing as he slowly reveals tiny crumbs about his background. He’s matched by Chi McBride as Chance’s business partner; Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero, a freelance hacker with a dark side who revels in digging up secrets that can be used as currency in tense negotiations and Ames, a talented thief whose victims are often distracted by her looks. 

While the show's acting and characters are good, the plots can be formulaic. Each episode finds Chance and the team in a new situation, matched against a new villain. The first half of the program shows the group tracking down the bad guys, while the second half is generally filled with a fight scene or three and maybe some explosions. The combat sequences can go quite long and are technically impressive, but they're also a shade more intense than the average TV brawl. While the main dilemmas are wrapped up every week, fans might be more intrigued by the small clues about Chance’s origins that pepper each chapter.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the show's fight scenes compare to those on other series. What's the impact of seeing intense fights on TV?

  • Who is this Chance? Where did he pick up his impressive fighting skills, and why does he pursue this kind of work? The show reveals little about his background; how do you think viewers will respond to that?

TV details

Cast:Chi McBride, Mark Valley
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bycmaccullough1 April 12, 2011

Great for Middle Schoolers and Mature Elementary Kids

I love this show if your worried about the sexual stuff don't be there is a rare kiss and you might just might run into a sexual reference. There is no blood, but one of the characters is a violent interigationist. Other that that the storyline is all about that everyone has a second chance and that you can change your life with it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bycoolmandudeyeah June 7, 2010
its ok i guess. would be: Rated PG-13 for action violence
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byScissorluv97 August 13, 2011

It's a great movie for ninja/action/cop loving people

I watch this show all the time with my 6 1/2 year old brother. My brother responded to the team drinking scotch by saying "You don't need to tell me that they're drinking bad things. I know they'll get really sick if they do that alot" My best friends dad is a director and he did this special affects/acting workshop with us and showed us all how the violence was fake so he didn't really get freaked out. I think it's great if you are mature and like action/ cop shows
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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