Saving Grace

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Saving Grace TV Poster Image
Tough female cop has problems only God can fix.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main character has good heart and good intentions, is loving toward her nieces and nephews, and does good work. She also leads a self-destructive lifestyle, though the theme of the show is her struggle to reform.


Crimes investigated include a child abduction, possible sexual abuse, murder, and more. In one episode, a disturbed teen commits suicide; viewers see him throw himself off a high platform and later see photos of him dead, with blood pooled around his head. Grace punches man in face after he sexually harasses her. References to the Oklahoma city bombings.


Quite graphic sex scenes for basic cable -- though key body parts are always hidden. Off-screen oral sex. Frank discussion of sexual promiscuity. Some scenes of females in bras and underwear.


Pretty much anything goes, except "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Grace drinks and smokes frequently. In the first episode, she kills someone while driving drunk. The theme of the show is her reform, which includes cutting back on her vices.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crime-and-faith drama is packed full of adult material that's particularly edgy for basic cable. The very first episode opens with a vigorous sex scene, which -- while key body parts are always hidden -- leaves nothing to the imagination. The main character is sexually promiscuous, drinks heavily, and smokes constantly, but she has a good heart, and the series is about her quest to reform herself (with an angel's help) after she kills someone while driving drunk. She investigates some very violent crimes in her work as a detective, including a child abduction with the possibility of sexual abuse and murder.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThe JP Show June 20, 2009
Parent of a 2, 3, 4, 11, 11, and 15-year-old Written bylover4 June 10, 2009
Teen, 16 years old Written bylelexy2000 July 13, 2010

Holly Hunter Rocks

I love this show because Holly Hunter is one of my favorite actresses and she is the best in that show. She makes you laugh, she makes you cry she is just fanta... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 20, 2009

A bit iffy

Intense sex scenes, smoking, drinking, and drug use, violence, ect. There are some positive messages, like the fact that Grace has an angel. I personally like t... Continue reading

What's the story?

Holly Hunter stars as Grace Hanadarko, an Oklahoma City police detective who lives fast and loose, drinking too much and sleeping with the wrong men. After driving drunk and killing a man (or so she thinks), Grace asks for help. An unconventional angel named Earl (Leon Rippy from Deadwood) responds, telling Grace that she is headed for hell, but he will help lead her back to the right path.

Is it any good?

At first glance, SAVING GRACE is a typical (if particularly racy) cop drama about a hard-living, self-destructive female detective who lives for her work and is at the top of her game. But then a winged angel spitting tobacco into an empty soda bottle appears, and preconceptions about the cable series come to a screeching halt. Bringing God, angels, heaven, and hell into the world of a gritty police drama -- where Grace investigates crimes like child abductions and other violent matters -- is tricky business. What keeps the program from getting too cheesy is the stellar cast.

Hunter plays her role full-force; sometimes it seems like the acting is taking over the character, but then she pulls it back in and delivers powerful moment after moment. Her unconventional angel, Earl, is the perfect foil to penetrate Grace's bitter cynicism. The rest of the cast comes from good stock as well, keeping the show -- which sometimes tends toward formulaic plots -- exciting to watch. But with its vigorous sexual scenes, heavy drinking and smoking, and frank discussion of grizzly crimes, Saving Grace is absolutely adult material.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the issues that Grace struggles with. What's behind her drinking, smoking, and sexual escapades? What are the consequences of her actions? Why does she decide to change her ways? What messages is the show sending about forgiveness and redemption? Are those messages more meaningful because Grace is such a flawed character? Do you think everyone deserves a second chance? Families can also discuss faith. How do you define faith or grace? If you have spiritual beliefs, how do you practice them?

TV details

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