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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show addresses various attitudes about racism, rape, AIDS, corruption, and the like.
Positive Role Models
Officers aren’t perfect but are committed to enforcing the law.
Violence & Scariness
Murder, tragic accidents. Guns, dead bodies visible. No blood or gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional mild innuendo, references to infidelity.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional drinking; a tragic drunk-driving accident.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the classic police series In the Heat of the Night (1988-1995) is pretty mild by today's standards but still addresses an array of mature topics, including racism, bigotry, infidelity, rape, and incest. There's no gore, but guns are visible and dead bodies are shown. It also contains some mild sexual innuendo and occasional drinking.
Is It Any Good?
This thoughtful, folksy police procedural offers some insight into the contemporary South, where change and modernization are often tinged with racial undercurrents and conservative ways of thinking. In an effort to highlight these tensions, the show purposely addresses controversial issues that range from incest to AIDS. In doing so, it highlights the community's persisting attitudes about them and notes the ways they're shifting. It also attempts to do so without relying on traditional stereotypes.
New characters, leadership transitions, and other changes over the years kept the show relevant for its time. However, there's a good chance that today's TV audiences (particularly younger ones) will find the pace a bit slow, especially when compared to today's police dramas. The humor might seem pretty hokey, too. Nonetheless, those who do watch will find a perceptive glimpse of life in the South over 25 years ago.
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.