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 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.
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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?
Who's most likely to tune in to Notorious, and why? Who's the target audience, and how can you tell?
For kids who love TV drama
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