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 Shooter is a dramatic series about a former marine who finds himself caught up in a conspiracy. It contains violent images of shootings, including graphic images of bullets piercing bodies and bloody wounds. Physical altercations are also common. It contains themes like patriotism, and points to responsible gun ownership, but most of the show centers on corrupt behavior and war-like sniper activity. Beer drinking is visible, and there’s cursing (“s--t"), too.
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What's the story?
Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, SHOOTER is a dramatic series about a former marine who finds himself caught up in a conspiracy of epic proportions. After serving his country in Afghanistan as the Marines' premiere sniper, Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) has moved to Washington State to live a quiet life with his wife Julie (Shantel VanSanten) and young daughter. Torn between distancing himself from the the war and serving his country, he reluctantly agrees to help his former commanding officer and Secret Service agent Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) to help foil a plot to assassinate the president. He soon he finds himself framed in a conspiracy involving various governments, with folks like counter-terrorist agent Jack Payne (Eddie McClintock), an ex-military man, driven to bring Swagger down. Meanwhile, FBI agent Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is also assigned to find him, but realizes that the case isn't what it seems to be.
Is it any good?
This lukewarm series fails to capture the drama of the film from which it's adapted. While the plot is consistent, the characters aren't rounded out enough for viewers to fully appreciate who they are or their motives. The connections to the war in Afghanistan, patriotism, and loyalty that the story requires fail to establish the emotional context necessary to drive the narrative.
Shooter makes an effort to be significant, and even offers a quick nod to responsible gun ownership. But it ultimately feels flat and underdeveloped, and doesn't offer the richness that one looks for in a complex story world. Instead, what it presents is a typical “cat and mouse” chase that lacks the nuance required to make it stand out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difficulties that come with adapting a film for TV, and vice versa. What are some of the things that make the transitions challenging? What do you think some of the challenges were with adapting Shooter? Are there stories that simply aren't suited for a specific type of media?
Billy Swagger knows about firearms and what they do, but it is made very clear that he handles them responsibly. Is this sending an intentional message? Given the context of the show, is it necessary to show extremely violent scenes of the harm guns can cause?
For kids who love drama
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.