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 the classic police procedural Kojak is milder than more contemporary police dramas, but still contains content that isn't meant for younger viewers. There are lots of violent moments, including gunfire and people getting shot (but little blood is visible), as well as plenty of references to murder. Assault, prostitution, and other crimes are also themes. Kojak and other characters sometimes smoke and drink, especially in early episodes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The classic series KOJAK (1973-1977) stars Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak, a bald, lollipop-sucking, hard-nosed detective solving New York City crimes. Along with his partner Bobby Crocker (Kevin Dobson), and with the help of detectives like Stavros (George Savalas), Saperstein (Mark Russell), and Rizzo (Vince Conti), they do what they can to catch the bad guys. Kojak doesn't always follow the rules, but their boss, Frank McNeill (played by Dan Frazer), keeps them in check.
Is it any good?
The police procedural churns through lots of detective stories, ranging from chasing robbers to solving mafia-related murders. But the show, which was an international hit in its day, stands out thanks to Detective Kojak, whose tough street smarts, honesty, sarcastic humor, and sensitivity, make him an interesting and likable character. His bald head, and his trademark catchphrases like "Who loves ya baby?", are now globally-recognizable parts of American popular culture. Meanwhile some of his on-duty habits are still referred to as the "Kojak Style" by American police today.
Granted, many of the show's references (and the cars) are dated, but thanks to the show's universal themes, it still feels relevant. Meanwhile, viewers might also get a kick out of the appearances made by young, now-famous actors like Harvey Keitel, Hector Elizondo, and Richard Gere, too. Overall, it's pretty entertaining, and folks looking for a compelling police procedural will definitely find something here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of American television and film's most notable characters. What makes these characters stand out? Is it what they look like? Their personalities? Their odd habits? Are these characters all "good guys" or likable?
Are there characters on TV today who you think we'll still be talking about 50 years from now?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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