Common Sense Media says

Exploitative docudrama looks at female killers.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The women are accused -- and often convicted -- of violent crime. Their difficult life circumstances, including being abuse victims, are often described, but minimized in terms of how they relate to their criminal behavior. The featured women are from various racial, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds.


Detailed discussions of violent criminal behavior. Police photos of murder victims are often graphic, showing large masses of blood and gaping wounds. Discussions of spousal battery are frequent. Recorded evidence often includes descriptions of violent acts or requests for assistance with committing a violent crime. Sexual assault of women is frequently discussed.


Frequent discussions about sex and sexual acts.


Fairly mild -- "damn," "hell," etc. Some of the investigators' recorded audio and video footage includes more-explicit language that's bleeped out.


Some references to crime-solving organizations, including the FBI and Interpol.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette smoking visible (usually during the alleged murderer's videotaped police statements). Frequent discussions of drug and alcohol abuse, usually within the context of how the abuse either led to or intensified the crime in question.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this crime documentary series -- which tells the stories of women who have been accused, tried, and often convicted of murder -- isn't intended for young viewers. It looks at what may have pushed these women to commit the crime and discusses mature topics like domestic abuse, rape, and addiction. Episodes include disturbing crime scene photos and audio clips and video footage of the accused and the victims, some of which are explicit in nature.

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What's the story?

SNAPPED is a controversial crime reality/documentary series that profiles seemingly ordinary women who have committed murder. Narrated by veteran reporter Sharon Martin, the series offers rather sensational accounts of the women's lives and the violent crimes they're accused of committing. It incorporates graphic crime scene photos, audio and video footage, staged still shots of the moments before the crime, and interviews with friends, family members, and people in the criminal justice system. Some of the profiled women kill out of jealousy, spite, greed, or misplaced loyalty. Many are battered women who have killed their abuser.

Is it any good?


Since the show's focus is more on the shocking nature of the crimes than on the reasons why they were committed, Snapped minimizes the level to which the physical abuse endured by some of these women contributed to their homicidal behavior. This strategy tells a good story, but by adding a dramatic flair to already-tragic events, the show blurs the line between being informative and being exploitative. Partly because episodes are only 30 minutes long and partly because of the series' storytelling style, Snapped offers a very superficial, oversimplified discussion of complicated issues surrounding women, violence, and the legal system. The series is more about entertaining people at its subjects' expense than informing the public about women and violent crime. /p>

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence as it relates to women and the law. Is being a victim of abuse a moral or legal reason to inflict violence on others? What if it's self-defense? Families can also discuss the importance of reporting abuse or addiction. What organizations are available in your community to assist people who need help? Why do you think there are so many crime-related shows on television (both reality programs and dramas)? Why are viewers fascinated by such dark topics?

TV details

Cast:Sharon Martin
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

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