Saint Hoods

Common Sense Media says

Boston bookie reality show is violent and disturbing.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

By sharing in detail the criminal activities of Boston's long-standing bookie industry from the gangsters' point of view, the series celebrates anti-social and illegal behavior and presents it as a part of Boston's culture.

Positive role models

Gangsters are proud of what they do and how they do it; some view what they do as a way of protecting and serving their community. Most of the cast served time in jail, some for violent crimes.

Violence

Guns and other weapons visible. People owing money are accosted and chased and beaten by thugs; things like TVs and toasters are thrown out windows. Rap sheets reveal crimes ranging from weapons dealing to attempted murder. Gang members like showing off their scars from stabbings and fights; occasionally a bloody wound is visible.

Sex

Occasional references to having sex and prostitution.

Language

Vocab like "Goddamn," "ass," and "pissed" audible; curses like "s--t" and "f--k" bleeped.
 

Consumerism

Cadillacs are frequently visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes and drink beer, wine, hard liquor, and other alcoholic beverages during meetings and at bars and clubs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Saint Hoods features Boston neighborhood bookies and gangsters conducting their business and engaging in various illegal activities. Real-life gangsters threaten, chase, and even beat up rivals and enemies. Guns are occasionally visible. Rough language, cigarette smoking, and drinking is also frequently part of the background. There are also some references to sex and prostitution. The show is meant to be more entertaining than informative, and it's definitely not intended for kids.

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What's the story?

SAINT HOODS is a reality series that showcases the inner-workings of the illegal Boston, Mass., bookie community from the point of view of those who are involved in it. Cameras follow the leaders of three neighborhood gangs, including the powerful South Boston or Southie Crew, headed up by gangster Pat Nee (known for his association with infamous mobster James Whitey Bulger), the Roslindale or Rozzie Crew, and the Dot Crew, representing Dorchester. From illegal sports gambling and loan sharking to shaking down newcomers and engaging in turf wars, these gang members share some of the tricks of their trade while proudly conducting their business right under the noses of the Boston police.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This troubling series offers an inside look into the world of Boston's pervasive bookmaking operations, including the process by which people register bets, how money exchanges hands, and how each crew goes about collecting payments by any means necessary. It also shows how they use thug-like behavior to extort from, and maintain control over, the residents of their respective neighborhoods. The tradition of relying on these crews to assist and/or protect long-established neighborhood families from people they deem undesirable is also highlighted.

While some of it appears contrived (especially during meetings between different crews), what makes the series disturbing is how confidently these gangsters conduct their illegal activities on camera while proudly showing how easily they get away with it. Meanwhile, the folks featured here have been arrested for and/or convicted of extremely serious offenses, ranging from illegal weapons dealing to attempted murder. Some folks may find these antics interesting to watch, but overall, this show seems to celebrate some of the worst that Boston has to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way the media portrays gangsters and gangster activities. What makes stories about gangster culture interesting? How have these portrayals changed over the years?

  • Is it ethical to show people engaging in illegal activities, even if it is for a documentary series? Do media professionals have a responsibility to report these activities to the police? Why or why not?

  • Do you think this reality show offers an accurate portrayal of what life is like in Boston?

TV details

Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Saint Hoods was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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