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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The family has a history of pulling small-time crime jobs and scams, but they do draw the line at what they won't do (they never invade people's homes, and they never use violence). Some of the characters face consequences (like jail time) for their criminal actions. As the series unfolds, they're making an attempt to turn over a new leaf, but whether they succeed remains to be seen.
Positive Role Models
Everyone in the family -- including a high schooler -- has pulled something over on somebody at some point in their lives. Characters make their way through life by lying, scamming, and, when the situation necessitates it, stealing. The matriarch is the only one who truly seems to want an honest life.
Violence & Scariness
Some punching, kicking, etc., and occasional weapon-wielding. Blood is rare.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Semi-steamy simulated sex between adults and older teens/20-somethings. No nudity, but characters sport bare chests (men) and lingerie (women) in bed.
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Occasional use of words like "hell," "damn," or "friggin'."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking. In one scene, an older man slips a drug into a glass of champagne to try to take advantage of a college-age girl.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show is about a family with four kids in their teens and 20s who've spent most their lives mired in crime. As a result, characters lie, steal, blackmail others, and evade the police when necessary. But, on the plus side, there are usually consequences for their criminal behavior -- like the father's five-year jail sentence. Expect some moments of sudden violence (mostly punching and kicking, although some characters carry weapons) and some relatively mild swearing ("damn," "friggin'," etc.). Sexual content can get a bit steamy, with simulated intercourse, bare male torsos, and women wearing lingerie. There's also some social drinking, in addition to at least one dangerous situation involving a drug slipped into a drink.
Is It Any Good?
Scoundrels isn't the first dramatic series to explore the inner workings of a criminal family, and fans of far-superior predecessors like The Sopranos, Weeds, and The Riches will quickly conclude that it isn't the best, either. Aside from the hokey Cain and Abel dynamic between bad son Cal and good son Logan (both are played by Flueger, wearing different wigs and various stages of facial hair), there's something in the series' tone -- an odd mix of drama and desperate comedy -- that makes it seem like it's trying too hard.
Neal McDonough (Minority Report, Desperate Housewives) was originally slated to play family patriarch Wolf West but was hastily replaced (reportedly because he had a moral objection to filming sex scenes with Madsen on camera). Although Scoundrels might have been a better series with him in place, his absence alone doesn't explain its shortcomings.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.