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 Live PD is a series that broadcasts the activities of police officers around the country while they are on night patrol. There are lots of conversations about violent events, some uses of police force, as well as blunt discussions about sexual activity. DUI and drug busts are common, and marijuana is often visible. There's some strong language (curses are bleeped), too. It's not appropriate for younger viewers, but teens interested in law enforcement may find something here.
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What's the story?
LIVE PD (aka Live PD: Rap Sheet) is a reality series that follows law enforcement across the country in real-time as they work the night shift. Hosted by Dan Abrams, each installment uses dash cams, fixed cameras, and handheld devices to simultaneously live-broadcast multiple police officers from different cities conducting traffic stops, following up on complaints, busting people for drugs, and responding to calls while on patrol. As the show switches back and forth to the more interesting events each police unit is dealing with, Abrams and co-host Tom Morris Jr. offer commentary. Crime experts and law enforcement officials also make guest appearances and add to the conversation. Pre-recorded police activity is also featured, often to give context to what audiences are watching live. From the backwoods of Florida to the highways of Arizona, officers willingly allow cameras to follow them to let viewers see what they do during a regular night on the job.
Is it any good?
This interesting series shows what daily police activity looks like across the country at a time when law enforcement is under public scrutiny. What sets it apart from similarly themed shows is the fact that viewers get to watch incidents unfold in real time. Most police officers are usually able to explain what they're doing and why during the process, or after a situation is under control. The hosts often address these reasons, and if they are justified.
There are some interesting, awkward, and intense moments. But Live PD uses its live status, and the constant shifting from location to location, to make events seem more exciting than they really are. Nonetheless, it also offers police officers a chance to be transparent, and to reinforce the idea that they are there to serve their communities.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what police officers do on a daily basis. What are the differences between what they do in real life versus how their jobs are portrayed on TV and in movies? Does Live PD give a good representation of what the police do?
What is the purpose of Live PD? To make police activity more transparent and restore public trust in the police? Or is it mostly about entertaining viewers? Do you think police officers behave differently when not on camera? Does this series change the way you think about law enforcement?
For kids who love mysteries
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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.