Smith

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Smith TV Poster Image
Captivating crime caper is too violent for kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main characters are criminals who are sometimes violent. Some have good hearts, but one is a ruthless sociopath. Female characters are strong but sexualized. The cast is racially diverse.

Violence

Blood, guns, cold-blooded murder, punching -- you name it -- but the camera doesn't dwell too long on the gore.

Sex

Showgirls wearing skimpy costumes, some near-topless nudity, kissing, some groping, lots of implied sexual activity.

Language

"Bastard," "damn," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

Characters drive fancy cars and wear expensive jewelry and clothing, but it's more about materialism than specific brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking and some cigarette smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this violent drama features adult themes and tends to glamorize crime. One character is particularly ruthless -- viewers see him murder two unsuspecting men with a high-powered rifle while whistling nonchalantly and, in another scene, kick a cat. Women often dress provocatively; there's a nearly naked breast in one scene. Viewers are meant to empathize with the criminals, especially since law enforcement officials are sometimes made to look foolish.

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What's the story?

With movie star actors, slick production values, and a tried-but-true premise, SMITH is a sexy crime drama told from the criminals' perspective. Bobby and Hope Stevens (Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen) are married with kids, but Bobby leads a secret life as the leader of a high-stakes band of thieves. The series follows the gang's action-packed heists, which often include violent set pieces like car chases, explosions, and murder. Meanwhile, the FBI is hot on Bobby's tail, even as his fence, Charlie (Shoreh Aghdashloo), feeds him more lucrative work. Bobby is a sensitive husband and father with a talent for the piano, but he's also a tough crime boss with a temper. He's trying to mend his fragile relationship with Hope and wants out of the underworld.

Is it any good?

SMITH is network TV that's so glossy and gorgeous it looks like the movies -- or at least like HBO. And like HBO, Smith is full of racy themes and bad behavior. Each member of his squad has an area of expertise -- transportation, weapons, disguise -- as well as their own complicated back stories. As viewers learn bits and pieces of these characters' pasts, Smith gains depth and becomes more compelling.

With an excess of adult themes, Smith is definitely adult fare. But it's high-quality stuff that, aside from the a-little-too-familiar framework, will captivate crime caper fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about appearance versus reality. Have teens ever been fooled by a first impression? Have you ever been lied to? How does it feel? What would be the hardest part of living a double life? Families can also discuss the glamour of criminal life. Shows like this, as well as some movies and music, give the impression that a life of crime is sexier and more thrilling than straight life. Do you think that's really true? How do these media sources create that impression?

TV details

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