Ray Donovan

 
Edgy drama's sex, drugs, violence stop short of gratuitous.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overall takeaway is grim and morally messy. Skirting the law is part of doing business, and even the concept of family is flawed.

Positive role models

While he's a better role model than most of the other people he hangs out with, Ray is an iffy antihero armed with a complicated moral code, hurting some people in an effort to help others and not always staying true to those he loves.

Violence

Most violence isn't bloody -- or even fully shown onscreen. But it's intense (breaking a rival's hand, beating a stalker with a baseball bat, shooting a priest in the head, etc.).

Sex

Sexually charged scenes can include nudity (bare breasts, etc.) and frank talk ("I want to put your c--k in my mouth"), but it isn't gratuitous. Most sexual acts are suggested rather than shown.

Language

Frequent use of unbleeped words like "f--k," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "d--k," "asshole," etc.

Consumerism

A few brand names, like iPad and TMZ, are mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and recreational drug use; some characters are shown snorting cocaine, etc., while others die of overdoses.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ray Donovan is hardly a positive role model -- and the world he lives in is swimming in sex, drugs, and violence. You'll hear lots of unbleeped language (from "f--k" to "c--ksucker") and see some characters using illegal drugs like cocaine. You'll also see flashes of nudity; hear some frank, sexually charged talk; and see intense violent acts -- from beating someone with a baseball bat to literally blowing someone's brains out. But the visuals aren't overly sexy or bloody, leaving most things to the imagination. Characters also mention a few brand names in casual conversation.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Armed with a tough-as-nails South Boston upbringing, RAY DONOVAN (Liev Schreiber) gets paid to "fix" problems for Hollywood's elite by whatever means necessary, from professional athletes to action stars and pop singers. But Ray's got legitimate problems of his own when his estranged father, Mickey (Jon Voight), shows up after 20 years in prison and tries to make nice with Ray's brothers (Dash Mihok and Eddie Marsan), and Ray's wife (Paula Malcolmson) and kids (Kerris Dorsey and Devon Bagby).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Liev Schreiber is an actor who seems to be everywhere, whether in movies, on television, or on Broadway. But in spite of Schreiber's long résumé, Ray Donovan marks his first leading TV role, and he pulls it off with an understated charisma that works well for this ensemble-driven series that's brimming with potential -- and intriguing characters.

True, it's hardly family viewing. (And it's not a show you want your kids quoting.) But Ray Donovan is surprisingly cleaner than it could be for premium cable, with most of the sexual and violent acts taking place off camera. The result is an effectively edgy world that's got true grit, without hitting us over the head with gratuitous sex and violence.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ethics of Ray Donovan's business and how he measures up as a role model. Do his bad deeds detract from any shred of good intention he might have?

  • Ray's world is full of sex, drugs, and violence. But how does Ray Donovan communicate that message compared to the way other edgy pay-cable series do -- like Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, or The Sopranos? Is Ray Donovan OK for teens, or should it be off-limits?

  • Are "fixers" like Ray really out there doing dirty work behind the scenes to help Hollywood's elite stay out of trouble? How much of Ray Donovan do you think is real, and how much do you think is fictional?

TV details

Cast:Jon Voight, Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcolmson
Network:Showtime
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:Streaming

This review of Ray Donovan was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byphuong nguyen October 2, 2013
age 18+
 

Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan is for adult only and not for kids children can't watch Ray Donovan and not at school
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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