A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Professionalism and ethics are sometimes put aside in the interest of solving cases and putting criminals behind bars. However, the rare glimpse of a competent woman in charge of a law enforcement division is very positive.
Positive Role Models
Captain Raydor, the officer at the center of the action, is hard-working, professional and caring, as well as treated with deference and respect by her coworkers, who don't question a woman being in charge of the division. The supporting cast around her is ethnically diverse.
Violence & Scariness
The show centers on a law enforcement unit that deals with violent crimes, so guns are frequently brandished and there is both mayhem and murder. Dead bodies are shown, as is some gore, i.e. gunshot victims lying in pools of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some veiled discussion of sex and sexual issues: "Priests don't always make good babysitters," says one character to another.
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Some cursing and insulting epithets such as "You are the biggest two-faced ass-kisser I ever saw."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs may be discussed as an aspect of criminal cases.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Major Crimes is a spin-off of TNT series The Cl
oser, and is set in the same tense law enforcement milieu of the LAPD's Major Crimes unit, with mayhem occurring frequently onscreen. Guns, gore, and dead bodies are shown, and characters are often in jeopardy, though the main characters are police officers and generally a bit removed from immediate physical danger. A female captain leads the Major Crimes team and is shown working efficiently and effectively in a ethnically diverse group of officers. However, the officers occasionally give ethics the heave-ho in the interest of solving a crime, as in the pilot episode when detectives pretend to be offering a plea bargain deal to a suspect in order to trick him into confessing.
Is It Any Good?
TNT could hardly have found a more magnetic and compelling lead in Mary McDonnell, who is altogether more fun to watch than The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick. As viewers of cult favorite Battlestar Galactica discovered a few years ago, McDonnell makes a powerful center to build a show around, and she's utterly relatable as a strong woman doing her level best in a very difficult job.
The rest of the cast is as uniformly excellent as they were on The Closer, though young viewers in particular may be confused by the fast-moving dialogue and the zippy plot, which doesn't slow down to explain complex legal concepts. Those who don't have a basic understanding of the law and criminal cases will be a bit lost, though fans of police procedurals will be able to keep up just fine. Also excellent: Unlike other cop shows, the crimes being committed are heinous, but not exploitative, i.e. no rape victims shown in torn clothing with the camera lingering lasciviously over exposed body parts. Crime is not glamorized on Major Crimes, nor is police work. Though in real life, Captain Raydor's hair might not look so perfectly blown-out after a long day on the job.
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.