Killing Fields

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Killing Fields TV Poster Image
Reopened gritty murder case is rough but respectful.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Old crimes are worth investigating; justice. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Detectives are committed to solving the case.

Violence

Rape and murder are discussed at length. Guns, rifles visible. Descriptions of decomposing bodies, assaults, weapons.

Sex

Rape and sex crimes discussed.

Language

"Bitch," "ass"; bleeped curses.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sanchez frequently drinks hard liquor. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Killing Fields, a documentary-style crime-investigation series, contains disturbing descriptions of a murder, a corpse, rape, and other related details. There's some tough language and lots of bleeped cursing, and hard liquor is frequently consumed. It's not meant for young viewers, and despite the lack of bloody footage, sensitive viewers will probably have a tough time with the dark subject matter.

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What's the story?

KILLING FIELDS is a series featuring a real-life retired Louisiana detective as he actively reinvestigates an 18-year-old murder case that went cold. Detective Rodie Sanchez was assigned to investigate the murder of Louisiana State University graduate student Eugenie Boisfontaine, whose body was recovered from the waters of the Bayou in 1997. Unable to live with the fact that he failed to solve it, he's come out of retirement in hopes of finding the murderer. Partnered with younger local detective Aubrey St. Angelo, and with the help of additional investigators from the Iberville Parish sheriff's office and modern forensic science, Sanchez will do everything he can to finally solve this case and bring the killer to justice.

Is it any good?

This intense series offers an inside look at how difficult it can be to solve a murder in one of America's "killing fields," geographic locations where natural elements erase any evidence left behind. It also demonstrates how it's possible to reopen and reinvestigate cold cases with the help of modern techniques and good old-fashioned detective work. It's a little slow-going, but there is some drama to help it along, thanks to a few contrived conversations between the detectives, eerie music, and Sanchez's personal musings about the ways detective work has affected his life.

The explicit descriptions of Boisfontaine's postmortem body and the potential ways she died aren't easy to listen to. However, despite all the grittiness, the overall series is respectful, and the way the narrative is presented is both thoughtful and well produced. It offers viewers some insight into the personal and professional challenges that come with this line of work and is an appealing choice for crime-show buffs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the trend in entertainment media to feature people solving crimes. Is detective work as exciting, glamorous, or straightforward as it seems on TV shows such as Sherlock or in films such as Veronica Mars? How might shows like this one offer a more accurate portrayal of a detective's job? 

  • Families can talk about why people are often interested in watching shows based on both real life and fictional crimes. What do you think the draw is? 

TV details

For kids who love mysteries

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