NYC 22

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
NYC 22 TV Poster Image
Violent procedural's rookie cops are strong, diverse bunch.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Although the series is set in a violent and dangerous world, there's an air of cooperation and at least a sense that good can still win out over bad. Justice usually prevails.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The rookies patrolling the streets make mistakes, but they have good intentions and genuinely want to help make the city safer. There's diversity among the force, too, including men and women of different races and ethnicities who work together to solve serious problems.


The main characters carry weapons, and so do many of the criminals they interact with. Moments of sudden violence include shootings, stabbings, gang fights, and hand-to-hand combat. There are other gruesome sights, including dead bodies, but minimal blood.


Light sexual tension.


Words like "damn," "ass," "hell," "bitch," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some scenes take place in bars, and characters occasionally drink alcohol. One character discusses a period of heavy drinking in his past.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NYC 22 has moments of sudden violence -- including shootings and hand-to-hand combat -- along with semi-gruesome sights like dead bodies, though surprisingly little blood. Characters use language including "damn," "hell," "ass," and "bitch," and there's some social drinking, as well as light sexual tension between certain characters.

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What's the story?

Executive produced by Robert De Niro, NYC 22 centers on the lives of six rookie police officers patrolling Manhattan's 22nd Precinct, following their day-to-day dealings on the streets. The newbies include Ray "Lazarus" Harper (Adam Goldberg), a former reporter who still relies on his sources; Jennifer "White House" Perry (Leelee Sobieski), a leggy athlete and former Marine MP; Ahmad Kahn (Tom Reed), an Afghani native who fought his way to the States; Jayson "Jackpot" Toney (Harold "House" Moore), a former pro basketball player who blew his potential; Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte), a rebellious risk-taker who's shaking crime from her family tree; and Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands), a young cop who hails from a long line of police officers.

Is it any good?

Previously titled The 2-2 -- say it out loud, and you'll see why the network changed it -- NYC 22 boasts a big-name executive producer in De Niro and also bears the influence of Richard Price, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who penned several episodes of the critically acclaimed crime drama The Wire. Given those elements, you'd expect big things, but this procedural mostly plays out as average entertainment.

One of NYC 22's most glaring problems is the impossibly diverse cast, who are saddled with clumsy cliches and two-dimensional details. And while Goldberg and Marte, in particular, mostly manage to rise above them, other ensemble members don't fare nearly as well. The result is a show about big-city crime that doesn't feel quite real enough.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way that cops are portrayed in the media -- from TV shows to video games -- and how that affects how we see them in real life. Does NYC 22 show the police in a positive or negative light? How does society view law enforcement in general?

  • Does the level of violence on NYC 22 reflect reality, or has it been amped up for entertainment purposes? Is this series more or less violent than other shows centered on law enforcement?

  • Would you consider the main characters positive role models, even though they aren't perfect? What are their best and worst qualities? Does their level of diversity feel real or forced?

TV details

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