By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun Cold War thriller has violence, sex, cursing, smoking.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Spies are everywhere, and no one can be trusted. The political tensions and public fears associated with the time are also highlighted.
Positive Role Models
Fielding Scott is not perfect, but he is determined. There are strong male and female characters featured throughout the series. One cast member lives in the closet, and is exploited as a result.
Violence & Scariness
People are shot at point blank range, stabbed, drowned, and strangled. Bloody injuries and dead bodies are visible.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong sexual innuendo, including nudity and simulated sex acts.
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Curses range from "f--k" and "s--t" to "hell" and "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drinking (hard liquor, champagne, wine) and cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the British action thriller Spy City features lots of violent moments, including people being shot, stabbed, and murdered in other brutal ways. Bloody wounds and dead bodies are also are visible. It contains strong sexual content, including nudity and simulated sex acts. Drinking and cigarette smoking is constantly visible. There is also strong language, ranging from "f--k" and "s--t" to "hell" and "damn."
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What's the Story?
SPY CITY is a dramatic thriller about a British operative navigating Berlin's den of spies before the construction of the Berlin Wall. In 1960, MI-6 agent Fielding Scott (Dominic Cooper) unknowingly kills a British agent who was trying to murder him in Berlin. But instead of his career being over, a year later the British government sends him back to Berlin under the distrustful eye of Aldous Petrie (Adrian Lukas). Once there, he must complete a mission known as "Beethoven" with the help of French DGSE and American CIA operatives, including Severine Bloch (Romane Portail) and Conrad Greer (Seumas F. Sargent).
But Scott knows there's someone among them leaking key information to the KGB, and he soon realizes that what he's dealing with is much more complicated than anyone thought. As things unravel, everyone around Scott becomes a suspect, including those with whom he is closest. He must turn to local profiteers, his unwitting secretary Eliza (played by Leonie Benesch), and a few allies, like East German photographer Ulrike Faber (Johanna Wokalek), if he has any chances of exposing the traitor.
Is It Any Good?
This glossy series offers lots of suspicion, twists, and turns as the dark, handsome, and imperfect Fielding Scott (Dominic Cooper) navigates his way through a thick network of CIA, MI-6, DGSE, and KGB agents covertly fighting the Cold War. As he deals with double-agents, government-sanctioned assassins, and locals who are willing to take risks in exchange for the chance to leave East Germany, viewers will also be trying to figure out what operatives can be relied on, and when.
It's entertaining, but the pace of the narrative throughout the series is sometimes uneven. Meanwhile, the attempts to tie the events surrounding Fielding Scott to the Soviet's plan to erect the permanent border between East and West Berlin are too few, and come too late in the story, which also makes the ending feel rushed. But if you can look past this, Spy City offers some binge-worthy fun that you can sink your teeth into.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the Cold War. Why was the Berlin Wall built? Was anything done to stop it? How did it affect the people living in Germany? What impact did it have on the world?
Movies and TV series like Spy City feature intelligence agents participating in lots of exciting operations around the world filled with action and danger. How accurate are these media portrayals? Is this the kind of work that people working in agencies like MI-6, the C.I.A., the KGB, and the Mossad do every day?
What other spy movies or shows are you familiar with? What are some of the tropes or elements that tend to define the genre?
- Premiere date: April 15, 2021
- Cast: Dominic Cooper, Seumas F. Sargent, Romane Portail
- Network: AMC
- Genre: Action
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 4, 2023
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