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 this police drama -- which is set in New Orleans and deals specifically with the city's post-Katrina struggles -- has plenty of the genre's standard chase scenes, bloody injuries, occasional violent deaths, and frequent gunfire. Regular hurricane flashbacks include people drowning, crying, and getting hurt; there's even a defensive murder. The main cop characters are good at heart, but they sometimes use shady tactics when trying to catch a criminal, such as threatening suspects with injury. There's also some drinking (including some done on the job), occasional references to dating or sex, and some language ("ass," "son of a bitch," etc.).
What's the story?
Set in a city that has drama to spare, K-VILLE follows officers in the New Orleans Police Department as they deal with personal and professional struggles during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Anthony Anderson (Barbershop, The Shield) stars as Martin Boulet, a loyal New Orleans resident/cop who stays on the job and in his home in the city's troubled Ninth Ward. Boulet's previous partner abandoned him during the hurricane; now he works with mysterious Trevor Cobb (Cole Hauser) in his fight to rebuild the city.
Is it any good?
Anderson brings a lot of heart to his role, and it's nice to watch him inhabit a starring role, especially after he's played so many silly peripheral characters. As Boulet, he fights to keep his family intact despite his wife's move to Atlanta, where she lives with their young daughter (who, like many children who were living in New Orleans during Katrina, suffers from traumatic memories and has difficulty sleeping).
With plenty of conspiracy theories and political resentments on tap, K-Ville can be heavy viewing. Car chases, flying bullets, bloody injuries, and devastating flashbacks to hurricane scenes make the show an iffy choice for younger viewers, but older teens may be able to handle the violence, which is pretty standard cop show material. Scenes from present-day New Orleans are alternately upsetting and gorgeous.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media deals with tragic, traumatic events like Hurricane Katrina. Are TV shows and movies obligated to present events like these as factually as possible? Why or why not? Do you think they do, for the most part? How do stories and images help us work through emotional wounds? Families can also discuss the hurricane itself. What do you remember about it? What have you heard about New Orleans since then? What do you think city's future is?