Scarecrow and Mrs. King

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Scarecrow and Mrs. King TV Poster Image
His-and-hers spy series is still fun -- but a little sexist.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In general, the show stresses the importance of teamwork and the potential for men and women to work well together, while subtly hinting that you shouldn't underestimate someone's value or intelligence. But there are also some dated stereotypes regarding women's interests and abilities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While Amanda and Scarecrow are partners, she's often portrayed as comically inept rather than competent -- for example, flying a helicopter erratically without knowing how to handle it. As she gets more experience, she does become more of Scarecrow's equal, although in early episodes, her assets seem limited to assisting on "female" matters, i.e. cracking a hidden code on a popular cooking show or uncovering an illegal arms trading ring within a cosmetics company.

Violence

Some physical fighting (including punching and kicking), but no blood. Also bombs, explosions, and use of firearms. Deaths occur, although not in a graphic way.

Sex

Light romantic tension, occasional bare male chest, etc.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rare social drinking at parties, etc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's some low-level physical violence (including punching and kicking), but no blood, along with explosions and use of firearms that result in occasional deaths. There's also light romantic tension between the two main characters that eventually results in some onscreen kissing. You'll see social drinking, too, but it's mostly in the background. The female character is often put into stereotypical roles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byQualityWatchers May 13, 2012

Good, clean 80's fun...

MacGyver meets Mission Impossible but better and funnier than both. Pretty clean, especially for an 80's series. There some non-graphic fight scenes, explo... Continue reading

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

What's the story?

When divorced housewife Amanda King (Kate Jackson) bumps into dashing secret agent Lee "Scarecrow" Stetson (Bruce Boxleitner) at a crowded train station, she inadvertently becomes part of his mission and -- eventually -- his professional and romantic partner. But the more complicated the working relationship becomes between SCARECROW AND MRS. KING, the more difficult it is for Amanda to keep her spy life a secret from her mother (Beverly Garland) and two young sons (Paul Stout and Greg Morton).

Is it any good?

Airing for four seasons on CBS, Scarecrow and Mrs. King enjoyed a good run (along with an Emmy Award for its score and several other nominations), but never got real closure thanks to an end-of-season cancelation. Still, most people who saw it at the time remember it fondly as a fun spy series with admittedly improbable plotlines that a family could generally watch with few content concerns.

Upon second look though, it's amusing to see how much the series relied on rather rigid male and female stereotypes of its day, casting Scarecrow as the worldly and unattached ladies' man while Mrs. King remained largely confined to the world of the grocery store checkout line. And while today's working and stay-at-home moms might not all be instant spy material, they're far more capable and useful than the series would have you believe.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gender stereotypes and the show's tendency to tie Mrs. King to "women's" interests. Would her character and the subplots of the show be significantly different if it were to air today? How might a modern Scarecrow and Mrs. King interact?

  • How do the levels of violence and sexual content compare to spy shows on the air right now?

  • In spite of its dated references and gender roles, is the series still entertaining for today's audiences? Parents: If you remember watching, does the show live up to your sense of nostalgia?

TV details

For kids who love action

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