TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Scoundrels TV Poster Image
Mostly tepid crime family drama has some racy content.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


Some punching, kicking, etc., and occasional weapon-wielding. Blood is rare.


Semi-steamy simulated sex between adults and older teens/20-somethings. No nudity, but characters sport bare chests (men) and lingerie (women) in bed.


Occasional use of words like "hell," "damn," or "friggin'."

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byManAfterGodsHeart January 11, 2020


In my opinion Neal McDonough never should have been fired for protecting his marriage against incubus & succubus which any church filled with the Holy S... Continue reading
Adult Written byLayneE October 7, 2010

Watch it first.

Adult show for sure.

I like it. I think it's funny, but I also know that the first episode started with a couple in bed, then jail, then a son stealing.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 21, 2010

Great show! But probably would be rated PG-13 in movie form.

Although these people are not the best role models in actuallity... they come through at the end of the day's "work". Then they become nice role... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the hit New Zealand series Outrageous Fortune, SCOUNDRELS follows a family of career criminals who are trying to go straight ... but may not be able to break old habits. When longtime scammer Wolf West (David James Elliott) gets sent to the slammer for five years, his wife, Cheryl (Virginia Madsen), is faced with single parenthood -- and the realization that the family desperately needs to turn over a new leaf. Three of her children -- Cal (Patrick John Flueger), Heather (Leven Rambin), and Hope (Vanessa Marano) -- have learned the ways of the "family business," but Cheryl is determined to teach them better behavior. Good thing she's got another one to set a good example: her newly minted lawyer son -- and Cal's twin -- Logan.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's message when it comes to crime. Does it glorify the Wests' bad behavior or seem to support their rehabilitation?

  • Do the Wests' two cardinal rules -- that they never invade people's homes and never resort to violence -- somehow make them less threatening than other criminals? Do the Wests believe themselves to be harmless?

  • Do you think Cheryl is a good role model when it comes to parenting? Why or why not? Do her children face consequences for their actions? Will Wolf's attitudes undermine her efforts to turn the family around?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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