Necessary Roughness TV Poster Image

Necessary Roughness



Female lead calls the shots in adult, sports-themed drama.
  • Network: USA
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's an attempt to drive home positive messages like self-reliance and independence, along with morals like "Nobody defines our worth unless we let them," etc. The concept of family (particularly parent-child relationships) is also an important part of the plot.

Positive role models

The main character makes some mistakes but, overall, is an intelligent and independent role model who's balancing stress on multiple fronts: divorce, child-rearing, career. She also holds her own professionally in a traditionally male industry. There's also good modeling of communication between three generations of women in the family.


On-the-field action includes shots of hard tackles, etc.


Sexual innuendo, implied sex (with bare skin but no sensitive body parts shown), and sexually charged terms like "hooker," "banging," and "pop your cherry."


Audible words include "damn," "hell," "bitch," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking in bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, although this primetime drama features a pair of secondary teen characters, it's mostly targeting adults with adult problems. That said, there's positive messaging and role modeling to be had if older teens tune in. Sexual content is mostly suggested, although the main character has an unintentional one-night stand (but notably regrets it), and one character frequents a strip club, etc. Audible language includes sexually charged terms like "hooker" and "banging," along with words like "damn," "hell," "bitch," etc. There's also some sports-oriented violence and social drinking.

Kids say

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What's the story?

When Long Island psychotherapist and mother of two Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) discovers her husband's been playing the field behind her back, she finds herself facing divorce -- and financial ruin. But when the coach of the New York Hawks gets wind of Dr. Dani's professional skills, he promptly hires her to whip his star football player (Terrence King) -- an on- and off-the-field problem child -- back into shape. Good thing she's got the NECESSARY ROUGHNESS for the job.

Is it any good?


While Necessary Roughness lacks the instantaneous snap of the character-driven USA dramas White Collar, Suits, and Fairly Legal, it’s definitely got the drive to deliver. Although sometimes it feels like the female lead is trying a little too hard to convince us of her Long Island-laced, working mother street cred with lines like, "My specialties include chicken parmesan, cognitive behavior therapies, hypnotherapy, and kicking patients' butts." We get it, Dr. Dani: You're sassy.

A few lame lines aside, the show's premise is pretty intriguing. And Dr. Dani doesn't limit her hypnotic influence to the world of professional sports, but also takes on troubled politicians and news anchors.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how sex is portrayed on the show. How does the level of sexual content compare to other shows or movies about male professional sports? Does the show's approach to sex suggest anything about its target audience (ie., a mostly male or female audience)?

  • Are the obstacles that Dr. Dani faces as a woman working in a traditionally male industry (professional football) any different than those a man might face in the same situation?

  • When it comes to stereotypes, does the main character challenge any assumptions about women in her particular line of work -- or women from similar socioeconomic backgrounds? Do you think she's a positive role model?

TV details

Premiere date:June 29, 2011
Cast:Callie Thorne, Mehcad Brooks, Scott Cohen
TV rating:TV-PG

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byAverisDaddy August 28, 2011

My review

I think its a good show, but borders on what I let my 12 yr old son watch and what I don't. Everything is mostly on the mild side, but it comes relatively close.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing


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