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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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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?
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?
- Premiere date: August 2, 2013
- Network: Discovery Channel
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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