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 L.A.'s Finest is an action-comedy series that is an offshoot of the highly popular Bad Boys film franchise. The series stars Gabrielle Union (who played Martin Lawrence's younger sister, Syd Burnett, in Bad Boys II) and Dark Angel's Jessica Alba -- along with other familiar faces like Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Grace and Frankie). There's frequent violence, which can be quite graphic; for example, a gnarly slow-motion shot of a bullet boring a hole into a man's forehead, with blood gushing out. Gunplay is a constant presence here, from convenience store shoot-outs to one-on-one threats, and language includes "s--t" and "d--k." One of the main characters is seen getting out of bed in only her underwear after a hookup; a cop rolls a joint for a sex worker and they smoke together.
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What's the story?
L.A.'S FINEST is an action-comedy spinoff series inspired by the hit film series Bad Boys. Gabrielle Union reprises her film role as Syd Burnett, an ex-DEA agent who has left Miami to make a name for herself as a detective within the LAPD. Jessica Alba plays her partner, Nancy McKenna, a slightly uptight wife (her husband's an up-and-coming district attorney) and stepmom who has a complicated past. Together, the women work to protect kidnapped kids, bust up drug cartels, and learn to get along as both co-workers and friends.
Is it any good?
Gabrielle Union does a lot of heavy lifting here; her confidence and charisma are the show's main assets -- but it's not enough to buoy the mediocre storylines. It usually employs "bad guy of the week" plots with far too many goofy in-jokes, and nods to the film franchise that inspired it are constant. The show is also seemingly at a loss when it comes to keeping Syd and Nancy's character development consistent; their basic personalities change on a whim to suit the plot, and Alba is never really believable as an ex-Navy ballistics expert.
And for a show that seems to enjoy pumping up the "female empowerment" angle, L.A.'s Finest sure does revel in objectifying its female leads. Never in the history of law enforcement has a lipgloss had such staying power. It's hard to imagine an audience sticking with this series for very long, especially since the show can't really nail down what it's trying to say.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about other films that have been spun off into television shows. How many examples can you think of? Which have made the transition most successfully, in your opinion? Did L.A.'s Finest make a successful transition?
What elements make for a good police show? Is it the plotlines? The characters? The action? How does mixing in other genres, like comedy, help or hinder a show?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love action
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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