A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages about perseverance, compassion, and integrity.
Positive Role Models
The story is told through Reeves, who is presented with complexity, seen both committing brutal acts of violence and upholding the law in his role as a U.S. Marshal.
Casts Black and Native American actors in many of the featured roles. However, the writing tends to be somewhat stereotypical for the Civil War Western genre, and also avoids most plotlines or themes dealing directly with race.
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Violence & Scariness
Frequent violent action sequences, which include gun violence, physical violence, and scalping, often depicted with blood and gore.
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Some mild profanity throughout, including "damn," "g--damn," and "hell." The n-word is used repeatedly.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters are seen drinking alcohol, sometimes to excess.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lawmen: Bass Reeves is a Western series based on the life of the first Black U.S. marshal. Produced by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), the series stars David Oyelowo as Reeves, an escaped enslaved man who becomes a lawman after the end of the Civil War. The series features frequent violent action sequences, including gun violence and scalping, and frequent use of the "N" word in the context of Civil War and Reconstruction-era United States.
Is It Any Good?
It's very strange for a series to focus on a complex, trailblazing figure while simultaneously avoiding the aspects of his life that make the story interesting. Yet that's exactly what happens in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, an extremely literal depiction of the life of an escaped slave-turned-U.S. Marshal. Producer Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) manages to tell Reeves' story with minimal thematic focus on either race or morality. Instead, Reeves' life simply gets used as a platform for frequent short action sequences. It can be somewhat satisfying as comfort television, but feels like a waste of such a uniquely compelling biography.
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.