Saint Hoods

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Saint Hoods TV Poster Image
Boston bookie reality show is violent and disturbing.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.


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.


Occasional references to having sex and prostitution.


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


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

  • Premiere date: August 2, 2013
  • Network: Discovery Channel
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate