By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Ludicrous TV news drama is lazy -- and eye-rollingly sleazy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Major themes include manipulation, dishonesty, and duplicity; truth is often used as a bargaining chip.
Positive Role Models
Though the series attempts to showcase strong female characters, they're largely two-dimensional. On the plus side, female characters wield considerable power and work well as a team.
Violence & Scariness
Storylines involve murder and death, with considerable blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Simulated sex with bare skin and revealing lingerie but no nudity; moaning, steamy kissing; suggestive phrases such as, "How do you like your meat?"
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"Ass," "hell," "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking; some storylines involve illegal drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Notorious centers on the producer of a fictional cable news program (think Larry King Live) and her ethically murky friendship/working relationship with a duplicitous defense attorney. You'll see steamy scenes involving simulated sex (with audible moaning, bare skin, and lingerie but no nudity) and hear characters use suggestive phrases such as, "How do you like your meat?" along with words such as "ass" and "bitch." You'll also see dead bodies and some blood, considering the investigation of a high-profile murder is a major part of the plot.
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
not as abd as cms claims but not terific either
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What's the Story?
Power-wielding television news producer Julia George (Piper Perabo) is NOTORIOUS for getting on top of a sensational story and driving ratings for high-maintenance host Louise Herrick (Kate Jennings Grant) through the roof. But the key to her success lies in part in her murky working relationship with Jake Gregorian (Daniel Sunjata), a charismatic defense attorney to the rich and famous with a serious gift for manipulation.
Is It Any Good?
With two-dimensional characters and cringe-worthy dialogue, this is an ultimately laughable attempt to compete with successful female-driven dramas such as Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. (And in case it's unclear, it soooo doesn't.) But that doesn't stop NOTORIOUS from throwing everything it has to offer -- including office sex, murder, and political blackmail -- at the proverbial wall to see what sticks. Trouble is, when all that muck slides down the wall where it belongs, you're left with an overdone template that's hardly worth your time.
In a sense, it's a shame, considering the series puts forth at least four potentially compelling female characters: Perabo's ethically ambiguous but occasionally principled Julia; Jennings Grant's scene-stealing Louise (in spite of her ridiculous antics); ambitious journalism grad Megan Byrd (Sepideh Moafi); and junior attorney Ella Benjamin (Aimeé Teegarden). But any hope of presenting them as multidimensional career women with complex minds and souls is hopelessly squandered with lines such as, "You're a tough-ass bitch! You can do anything." It somehow feels like the opposite of girl power.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Notorious's premise and whether it works. Is it closer to fantasy or reality? What are the real-life connections among politics, celebrity, and the news media?
How do Notorious's female characters compare to other strong female characters on television (think Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, or The Good Wife)? How do they measure up as role models?
Who's most likely to tune in to Notorious, and why? Who's the target audience, and how can you tell?
- Premiere date: September 22, 2016
- Cast: Piper Perabo, Daniel Sunjata, J. August Richards
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
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.
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Where to Watch
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate