Outlaw Country

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Outlaw Country TV Poster Image
OK reality with two sets of brothers, two sides of the law.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Attempts to fight crime are overshadowed by seemingly personal feuds, as told by both sides. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Cooks appear obsessed with the Monks; the Monks claim to have changed. Josh Monk ministers to recovering addicts. 

Violence

Police busts shown; alleged criminals tackled and restrained. Guns and rifles visible, illegal weapons sales discussed. Competitive fighting matches shown.

Sex

Sexy dancing visible at parties. 

Language

"ass," "bitch"; "s--t," "f--k" bleeped. 

Consumerism

Revelation Tattoo featured. The show features a commercial soundtrack. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, beer drinking and cigarette smoking visible. Illegal drugs and needles shown; sales discussed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the reality series Outlaw Country features lots of police activity, guns, and physical altercations. The language is strong ("ass," "bitch," curses bleeped); drinking (wine, beer) and cigarette smoking is frequent. Images of illegal drugs and other paraphernalia is sometimes shown. There's some occasional sexy dancing, and lots of talk about illegal activities, too. Revelation Tattoo Shop is featured; the show also boasts a commercial soundtrack.  It's not meant for kids. 

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What's the story?

OUTLAW COUNTRY is a reality show that follows the ongoing strife between two sets of brothers on the opposite sides of the law. An elite federal task force is called in by the mayor of Buckner, Missouri to help Chief of Police Mike Cook deal with the spike in the area's violent crime. Coordinating their efforts is Cook's brother and top investigator, Steve. At the top of the Cook's suspect list are John and Josh Monk, siblings known as the leaders of the Buckner Alliance criminal gang, who claim that they are now living life clean and sober. As the tension between the two sets of brothers continues to grow, the task force works to identify other potential suspects. 

Is it any good?

WGN America's first original unscripted series attempts to tell the dramatic story of two feuding sets of brothers against a backdrop of a modern -- but still wild -- West. But despite the Cooks' attempts to compare the Monks to infamous sibling gangs like the infamous Jesse and Frank James, they fail to generate any real sense that the Monks are actually responsible for the town's crime wave. Their obsession with John and Josh also makes them seem foolishly overzealous.

Unrelated scenes are intertwined and offered out of context to reinforce the purported tensions between the brothers. The recognizable mixture of pre-planned encounters and re-created scenes, many of which feature cast members playing up to the cameras, is also designed to create drama. The result is a show that may lack a script, but still reads like bad fiction.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people are willing to appear on reality shows. Is it to highlight what they do? To bring attention to a cause? For 5 minutes of fame? 

  • How does the presence of cameras influence the way people in law enforcement do their jobs? Is the way they behave when the cameras are rolling the same as when they are not? Are there other ways that cameras can potentially interfere with what they are supposed to be doing? How can they help? 

TV details

For kids who love reality crime fighters

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