Parents' Guide to

Madam Secretary

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Strong female lead in smart, teen-friendly drama.

TV CBS Drama 2014
Madam Secretary Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

Great unbiased and inspiring.

My kids love this show. Madam Secretary and the President in this show are stated 'Independents', and often the show presents both sides of a problem. In the last season they had three former Secretary of States on the show, Clinton, Allbright, and General Colin Powell. Both parties were 'advising' the fictional Madam Secretary, and how often does a family get to see that kind of unity and support anywhere in the world? There is occasional violence, which mars the show a bit , explosions and gunfire and silly plots, but the people in the show are humane and have wonderful supportive loving relationships. My daughters are now interested in politics.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 16+

Mixed messages, but good

This is mostly clean (some bedroom scenes, women in underwear, but not frequent and not too over the top)...and I love the relationship between Madam Secretary and her husband. The kids are fun too. However, having said this, it doesn't feel so realistic. Spouses magically have time for each other and a great relationship while both working extremely long hours. Both parents having fabulous, meaningful careers while the kids mostly raise themselves and are well-adjusted somehow. Kids are shown hardly any affection, either. For this reason, I feel that the show sends mixed messages. Both parents can save the world, have a career, and half of the time completely overlook their children's needs, and everything works out fine! Not so. Kids need attention and care, and this is an extremely important job. In real life, increasingly both parents work and kids are left to their own devices and are "supposed" to be fine. Instead, they end up with problems when no one is around to raise them. Though this show is better than some, I wish that children were more of a priority. I feel that not making it so just leads to more people thinking that kids are fine raising themselves while both parents go after their meaningful careers. Saving the world one child at a time seems like a worthier goal!

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This isn't the first time that TV drama has explored the concept of women in the White House (Commander in Chief, anyone?), but Leoni's portrayal of a working mom in power feels both refreshing and on point, never dwelling on the fact that she's a woman with a tough job but instead focusing on the fact that she's really good at it. Leoni shines as a smart and relatable heroine, and she's joined by a stellar supporting cast that includes Daly, Bebe Neuwirth, and Zeljko Ivanek.

For fans of The West Wing, Madame Secretary will feel happily familiar, and it's a great pick for families with teens who can process some of the show's more complicated political plots. The fact that Morgan Freeman serves as the show's executive producer has some giddy that he'll make an appearance as a future or former president. But who's to say that Madame Secretary herself won't give the White House a run for its money?

TV Details

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