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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While there's plenty of lying, stealing, and allusions to sleeping around among suspects, the bad guys always get their due in the end.
Positive Role Models
The main character is a strong, intelligent woman who's never afraid to ask tough questions and always speaks her mind. Characters demonstrate communication and teamwork.
Violence & Scariness
Each episode revolves around a death, and often the act of murder is shown as well as a few shots of the dead body (though it's all very tame compared to modern forensic crime dramas). There are lots of verbal threats ("I'll kill you") and some fist fights and scuffles here and there, which lead to bruises and bloody lips.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters occasionally talk around the subject of sex with loaded comments like "I don't know what you're doing or who you're doing it with." Extramarital affairs often pop up in investigations. Female characters sometimes dress in skimpy clothing. There's occasional kissing and some light fondling (rubbing thighs or backs, for instance).
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"Damn" and "hell" are used infrequently.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults often drink wine or beer in social settings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although the violence in Murder, She Wrote is extremely tame compared to many of today's graphic series (almost to the point of being a bit cheesy), each episode of this fan-favorite crime drama does revolve around a murder investigation. The deadly confrontation is often shown on screen, as well as several scenes of the corpse and the crime scene (often blood-stained). The heroine is a successful, self-confident woman whose determined inquiries and attention to detail often outshine the work of professional detectives.
Is It Any Good?
More than two decades after its debut, the show continues to engage audiences with its endearing heroine and an ever-changing cast of guest stars. Through the years, Murder, She Wrote has featured soon-to-be-familiar faces like George Clooney, Courteney Cox, and Marcia Cross. But crime-drama buffs take note: This is no Law & Order or CSI. The action is slow, and characters rely more on chance eavesdropping or friendly conversation than on actual interrogation to gather information. Foot chases are rare, and hardened criminals even rarer. Overall it's a fantasy world for detective work, where the bad guys stand out, tense situations are often tempered by wry humor, and loose ends are tied up in a nice, neat package by show's end.
The only real caution for parents of older tweens and up is the potential for some violent images, but the relatively low-key nature of this crime show makes it a decent choice for families. The simplistic, dialogue-based plot, however, may leave kids rolling their eyes.
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.