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Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force
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 reality series follows the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force as its members track down wanted criminals. It includes many interesting details about their basic investigative techniques and shows the marshals in action as they apprehend their quarry. Some of these scenes can be quite intense, as the marshals strap on their weapons and body armor and then go after their targets. There's little actual violence, but it's clear that they're facing real danger. Guns are prominent throughout the series, and the marshals also swear (it's mostly bleeped) and discuss the gun trade.
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What's the story?
MANHUNTERS: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE follows the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, an elite law enforcement team dedicated to tracking down wanted fugitives. Cameras roll as they plan their investigations in their New York headquarters, hit the streets to pursue leads, and evaluate various clues as they try to locate dangerous criminals. And after the team finds their prey, viewers watch as they strap on their weapons and body armor and head out to capture them.
Is it any good?
Like many actual police investigations, Manhunters features plenty of mundane incidents punctuated by brief moments of real danger. The series shows commander Lenny DePaul, deputies Tommy Kilbride and Michelle Mendez, and other members of the team at work, pounding the streets, asking questions, scanning computer databases, and doing other important (if sometimes unexciting) tasks. As they proceed, the marshals offer plenty of explanation about their basic investigative techniques, which provides interesting insights into this rarely seen world and makes the segments more interesting to watch. The team often interacts with other law enforcement agencies, showing the extensive resources that can be brought to bear on finding a single person. Despite the many fictional films and TV shows that feature people evading capture on the run, the reality show version makes it clear that the odds are heavily against the fugitive.
But that doesn't make it any easier to bring them in. Oncethe marshals locate their quarry, they have to actually capture them. When the team is suited up in body armor, guns drawn, waiting in a hallway and ready to burst through some anonymous doorway, it's obvious that these are real people performing a really dangerous job. It may be too intense for younger viewers, but teens and adults with a taste for this topic will find it interesting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this series compares to fictional media portrayals of criminals on the run. Do you think TV shows and the movies sometimes make being a fugitive look exciting or glamorous? Why do you think filmmakers and producers choose to do that? Do you think it's ever really like that? Do you think you would be able to escape from the marshals if you had to flee? Where would you go, and what would you do? Do you think you would avoid any of the mistakes made by these real-life fugitives?