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 this drama focuses on a wholesome family with strong positive values living in a dangerous neighborhood. Scenes include drive-by shootings, the aftermath of stabbings, tense stand-offs between police and criminals, and intense arguing between a husband and wife in front of their children. Some discussion of drug dealing and gangs, as well as brief scenes depicting drug users. Some discussion of race relations and social problems. The teenage girl character gets romantically involved with a guy in school. The middle school-aged boy gets bullied, but with his mother's help, finds a clever solution to his predicament.
What's the story?
A working-class family of five gives a different kind of life a try when Los Angeles police officer Eddie Sutton (Russell Hornsby) convinces his wife, Jenn (Nicki Micheaux), to give up their tiny apartment for a chance at home ownership in a more dangerous part of town. Eddie and Jenn, a nurse, initially find their neighbors unwelcoming and the presence of gangs inhospitable. The kids -- high schooler Cassie (Erica Hubbard), athletic middle kid Lizzie (Rhyon Brown), and good-natured Tay (Mishon Ratcliff) -- all struggle in their new school, facing the challenges of making new friends, proving themselves to adults, and escaping bullies. But despite the big and small hurdles the family faces, they all find a way to overcome their initial difficulties. With immense optimism and some twinkles of hope for the future of the neighborhood, the Suttons persevere.
Is it any good?
LINCOLN HEIGHTS tells a simplified but heartfelt tale about living in a gang- and drug-filled neighborhood where drama is everywhere and danger constantly lurks. Both adults and kids will find characters to relate to, especially teens interested in Cassie's possible romance with a handsome, mysterious new kid. But the violence, especially for such an otherwise wholesome show, is intense. In one scene, a teen is gunned down in a drive-by shooting as Eddie and his partner pursue him. Another scene shows a teen lying on the ground bleeding after being stabbed. The message is clear: The neighborhood is dangerous, and it will take the bravery and commitment of people like the Suttons to change things for the better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their own neighborhood. What's good about where you live? What's not so good? How could you and your other family members make your neighborhood better? Why are certain neighborhoods considered "better" than others? Do you think the show's take on what a "bad" neighborhood is reflects reality? How do violence, race, and crime interconnect on the show? In real life?