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In Plain Sight
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this drama isn't exactly age-inappropriate for older teens, its strong violence (gunshot wounds, stabbings, etc.) and sexual innuendo (slang, partial nudity) make it a better fit for its intended audience -- adults. Scenes include a murdered girl is shown with her chest cut open, a woman faking an orgasm over the phone in an attempt to convince a male caller that she's having sex with another woman, and more. Language includes words like "bitch" and "ass," and characters smoke, drink, and use drugs.
What's the story?
In IN PLAIN SIGHT, Mary McCormack stars as U.S. marshal Mary Shannon, a woman who makes her living helping others as part of a highly secretive government-sponsored witness protection program. Mary's job is demanding enough without the added drama from her cocktail-guzzling mother (Lesley Ann Warren) and rebellious younger sister (Nichole Hiltz), not to mention her "relationship" with on-again-off-again boyfriend Raphael (Cristian de la Fuente). Good thing her partner (Frederick Weller) remains a platonic friend -- at least for now.
Is it any good?
Mary is a refreshingly different kind of female role model -- the kind of woman who doesn't think twice about barging into a men's bathroom, belittling the size of a man's "equipment," and, seconds later, chucking a bar of soap at his genitals. But the show's writers also strive to make Mary real by saddling her with imperfection when it comes to her personal life. Whether this is a deliberate attempt to make her relatable or a subtle statement about whether women can truly have it all isn't clear. But maybe it's a little of both.
The show's plots can tend toward the convoluted, and secondary characters often come off as two-dimensional. But with its unique take on girl power, In Plain Sight is likely to find an audience. After all, there aren't many other shows about a take-charge kind of woman who eschews power pumps for a gun and a sensible pair of shoes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that the show's central character is a strong-willed woman with visible flaws. Does Mary's habit of keeping lists tell viewers anything about her personality? As a woman working in a predominantly male field, what types of challenges does she face on the job? What techniques and/or strategies does she use to overcome them? Do you admire Mary? Why or why not? Can you think of other heroines like her on TV? Why are there more male leads in series like this than female ones?