Magnum P.I.

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Magnum P.I. TV Poster Image
Cheerfully corny reboot of detective show has some violence.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Iffy messages about gender war with positive messages. Magnum is said to entertain an "endless stream of young women" and says things that amount to "nice guys never win." The scenery also frequently shows women in brief bathing suits. Yet women are also shown as powerful and capable, worthy of respect. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Magnum, a veteran with what appears to be PTSD, generally acts heroically, protecting the weak and defenseless. He's also portrayed by an actor of Latin heritage, which show makes reference to. Higgins is a strong, powerful female character with many skills; she can also defend herself physically. 

Violence

Violence can be unexpectedly intense for a show with a light tone, with deaths, gory wounds, bloody bodies shown. Lots of guns and lots of heavy machinery: tanks, helicopters, boats. Bad guys have curiously terrible aim, never hit Magnum or his friends, despite hail of gunfire, but when Magnum pulls out a handgun, he's able to make a military Jeep flip and explode. A pair of large dogs share space with Magnum, chase him, try to attack him; this is played for laughs. Magnum shoots before asking questions of suspects and is beaten up in the course of his job. 

Sex

Male and female bodies are frequently on display, with show missing no excuse to show Magnum shirtless or set a scene at a pool with many young women in bikinis. Most characters are single and interested; expect romantic complications. 

Language

Language includes "hell," "suck," "ass," "son of a bitch," "pissed." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs play a part in criminal investigations.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Magnum P.I. is a reboot of the 1980s series about a detective with the unlikely name of Magnum (Jay Hernandez). The overall tone of the show is light, but the violence is a notch more intense than you might expect, with lots of guns and heavy artillery, as well as bloody dead bodies. Magnum himself wields a gun, and frequently shoots before he asks questions. Male and female bodies are on display, with lots of scenes set on beaches or boats; Magnum himself never misses an opportunity to whip his shirt off. There are references to consequence-free casual sex, and romantic complications; there are also strong female characters with agency. Language is on the mild side: "hell," "suck," "ass," "son of a bitch," "pissed." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBigguy29 September 24, 2018

This I believe will be the action hit of the year

After watching the premeire of this show I can honestly say it's one of the best actions I've seen in a long time on local TV it's hilarious and... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Retooling the 1980s series of the same name, MAGNUM P.I. centers on Thomas Magnum, a former Navy SEAL who's currently using his investigatory and combat skills as a private investigator in Hawaii. From his home base, Robin's Nest, a luxurious compound owned by a multimillionaire comrade in arms, Magnum investigates crimes with the help of his former fellow POWs: Theodore "TC" Calvin (Stephen Hill) and Orville "Rick" Wright (Zachary Knighton), as well as the grudging assistance of Robin's Nest's persnickety majordomo, Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks).

Is it any good?

Cheerful, corny, and knowingly ridiculous, this revival rivals the charms of the original, right down to an insouciant Magnum who breezily greets mayhem with a cocked eyebrow and a quip. Even when Magnum's wearing dress whites for a dear friend's funeral, he accessorizes with a devil-may-care grin and drives a low-slung sports car to the cemetery. Every investigation in Magnum P.I. begins with a cruise through Hawaiian landscapes, a clue-finding dive into crystal-clear water, or a trip to a white-sand beach heavily stocked with women in bikinis. And every crazy stunt winds up working out -- for Magnum, not for the bad guys he's chasing. 

Some updates have been made to the retread: Magnum earned his tough-guy chops in Iraq during the War on Terror instead of Vietnam; the character of Higgins has been gender-flipped (but is still played as a supercilious Brit); and Magnum is played by a Latino man, whose ethnicity is woven subtly, skillfully into the show. Lots of fun moments and characters make a pretty good case for giving this reboot a shot -- if murder, pretty scenery, and wisecracking detectives are your chosen amusements. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about any stereotypes they see while watching Magnum P.I. Does the behavior of male and female characters reinforce or combat stereotypes? What's the difference between male and female sexuality on the show?

  • A lead character shaped by war is a staple of adventure shows. Why? What war did Magnum fight in? What about the original character on the 1980s show? Why did the war change, yet the effect on the character remain the same? 

  • How do Magnum and his crew demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?

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