A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Good policing includes having compassion for others, especially in difficult or life-threatening situations. Proper policing includes teamwork to make sure communities are safe.
Positive Role Models
Det. Kelly Duff deescalates a police raid to save a young Black boy, showing her compassion for others and adherence to the safety of everyone involved. The police officers pool their resources and work together to solve cases.
The two leads are women, with one being a plus-sized Black woman, upending a stereotype of how plus-sized Black women are typically portrayed in media. There are three other characters of color as part of the main cast, Det. Taai Nazeer (Al Mukadam), Det. Nathan Greene (Daren A. Herbert) and Unit Commander Edwina Shanks (Karen Robinson). There are scenes that showcase the series' willingness to address White privilege and the complicated feelings Black police officers might have with policing, particularly a scene in which Det. Kelly Duff (Adrienne C. Moore) deescalates a police raid involving a young Black boy holding a gun. In the pilot, there's a person of color who is arrested for possession of drugs, but the scenario is treated more for comedy than it is to reinforce any negative stereotypes about people of color in the eyes of the law. Overall, the series wants to present as a new, more inclusive, and more responsible way to showcase policing on television.
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Violence & Scariness
Scenes with guns drawn, including one with a SWAT team pointing automatic rifles at a young Black boy with a gun. A discussion between characters about "serve and protect" versus "law and order" occurs, highlighting police violence. A description of a cop suspended for using excessive force. Chase scenes and a scene with a character getting a bloody nose.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character tries to date using an app and receives sexts from the other person. Light sexual comedy involving a conversation about using handcuffs.
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Swear words and phrases such as "bitch," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "ass," "a--holes," "what the hell," “tits up,” "eat me."
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Products & Purchases
A character wears New Balance shoes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pretty Hard Cases is an action-comedy series following two women detectives with different working styles becoming partners. The series is an inclusive, more socially responsible version of the standard buddy-cop scenario. Parents can expect scenes with guns, including a scene with guns drawn on a young Black boy. Parents can also expect discussions about racial privilege and excessive use of force. Some swear words and light sexual comedy are present.
Is It Any Good?
Thanks to diversity and acknowledgment of the police's overuse of force, this show is a breath of fresh air in a sea of procedurals. Pretty Hard Cases is a fun, more respectful twist on the standard policing shows that either don't try to meet the moment regarding policing or try and fail.
With that said, there are parts of Pretty Hard Cases' discussions about policing and White privilege that feel a little clumsy. A scene involving Det. Samantha Wazowski (MacNeill) talking about her White privilege seemed a touch out of place, particularly since the conversation between her and Det. Kelly Duff (Moore) wasn't integrated into the scene as well as it could have been. But the pilot includes a powerful scene involving Kelly deescalating a police raid to save a Black boy holding a gun. In real life, we've seen when Black people holding anything including guns have been murdered by police before getting a chance to surrender. This scene illustrates how high emotions can run during intense police procedures and why it's important to address those emotions before tragedy strikes. Overall, Pretty Hard Cases is a solid entry into the world of police procedural comedies.
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.