A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series takes a fairly non-judgmental approach to documenting criminal groups. It offers in-depth information about various illegal organizations, and the impact they have had on American society from the point of view of key people involved in them.
Positive Role Models
Many of the individuals interviewed have served or are serving time for their criminal activity. A few express regret for their actions; many of them are proud of their associations.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of images of people punching, kicking, slapping, and beating each other. Images of people (including kids) holding guns, rifles, and machine guns are frequent; reenactments feature shootings and bloody wounds. Archival footage of shooting victims being wheeled away or covered up is also visible.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Activities relating to businesses in the sex trade and related behaviors are occasionally discussed.
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Words like "f--k" are bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Discusses the relationship between gangs/organized crime and the drug trade. Prohibition is discussed. It also contains images of people smoking (cigarettes, cigars) and drinking beer and wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Outlaw Empires focuses on violent gang and mob organization history and activities, and discusses how this has impacted American society. The series contains violent descriptions and images of physical fights, shootings, and people with bloody wounds, though without the drama of a fictional account. Activities relating to the drug and sex trade is also discussed. Folks are shown drinking (beer, wine) and smoking (cigarettes, cigars). While there's a lot to be learned here, parents may want to preview before allowing younger teens to watch.
Is It Any Good?
The series offers an unapologetic and non-judgmental look at the culture and activities of some of America's most well-known underground organizations. It also offers some interesting discussions about the roles they have had in criminal activities like the prohibition, the current illegal drug trade, and major violent events, like the L.A. riots.
Learning about these events through the personal narratives is interesting, but the way they share their stories is also intriguing. The pride that many exhibit for being a member of these groups often tells us more about the culture of these organizations than the disturbing details about some of their criminal activities. As a result, the series offers viewers a way of understanding them from a perspective that is both insightful and disturbing.
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.