By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bland Southern cop drama has some violent scenes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show's overall message values justice over crime and reveres family relationships. But the show doesn't hide the city's seedier side.
Positive Role Models
Dwight is fiercely loyal to his city and its residents, takes his role as a detective seriously, and views victims of violent crime with sympathy. He doesn't always recognize his shortcomings, but he seems to welcome constructive feedback from his boss.
Violence & Scariness
Some violent crime involving blood, bruises, etc. Characters carry guns.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual innuendo played for humor. References to "boobs," etc.
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Language includes words and phrases like "damn" and "son of a bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking, with regular scenes filmed in bars and clubs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this adult-oriented dectective series is milder than it could be when it comes to violence, but it still includes semi-graphic images involving blood, dead bodies, etc. The main character is one of the "good guys," but plotlines typically expose the seedy side of everyday life in Memphis. Characters use words like "damn" and "son of a bitch" and do some social drinking. There's also some sexual innuendo played for humor.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
When he's not working the MEMPHIS BEAT, mama-loving police detective Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee) is working the stage at his favorite blues club and fiercely protecting his city's culture from would-be offenders. But his methods don't always fly with his new boss (Alfre Woodard), a suburban transplant who's determined to keep her cops in line. Good thing Dwight's gangly uniformed sidekick (DJ Qualls) thinks he's the best thing since Memphis-style barbecue.
Is It Any Good?
The fact that Lee's character channels Elvis at a local blues club on his nights off is the most interesting thing about this humdrum detective show set in one of America's most vibrant cities. But even that doesn't really deliver, as Lee is clearly lip-synching to someone else's vocal tracks, producing a soulless performance indeed.
Couple that with the realization that Memphis Beat was actually filmed in New Orleans, and you've got a show that lacks any connection to the city it's supposed to love. Talk about a kick in the ribs.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the details that give this detective drama a sense of place. How important is music to the series? What about food? Does the show reinforce any stereotypes about the South?
What makes Dwight a good role model? How does music help him handle stress?
What do you think about the amount of violence in this series? How realistically do you think it portrays crime in modern-day Memphis? How does it compare to the violence in other cop/crime shows?
- Premiere date: June 22, 2010
- Cast: Alfre Woodard, DJ Qualls, Jason Lee
- Network: TNT
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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