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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
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?