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 this reality series -- which follows movie star-turned-Deputy Sheriff Steven Seagal -- features the standard violent images (guns, car chases, suspects getting Tasered) and other edgy content that real-life cop shows are known for. The use of martial arts in police work is frequently discussed and/or shown; drugs, alcohol, and drunken behavior are also visible. Expect some salty language (though words like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped) and somewhat stereotypical messages about the relationship between poverty, race, and crime.
What's the story?
STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN follows actor/martial artist Steven Seagal as he works for the city of Jefferson Parish, La., as a deputy sheriff. Cameras follow Seagal -- who's served as a reserve deputy sheriff for 20 years -- as he and his fellow officers chase carjackers, arrest suspected drug dealers, and settle domestic disputes. Seagal also offers his colleagues defense training and sharpshooting lessons. And throughout it all, Seagal reflects on the role that the martial arts play in his law enforcement career.
Is it any good?
Steven Seagal: Lawman highlights how the erstwhile action star applies Zen thinking and Aikido to his work. But aside from the dusting of movie star glitz that Seagal brings to the proceedings, the show follows more or less the same format as reality police shows like COPS and Street Patrol. In any given episode, you can expect to see law enforcement officials chasing and arresting alleged criminals in the middle of the night while reminding viewers that these suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
The series sends some stereotypical messages about the relationship between race, poverty, and crime. And Seagal’s rather pretentious talk about his martial arts skills gets a little tiresome. But there's no doubt that his fans will get a kick out of watching the him chase alleged bad guys in this real-life setting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "double lives" of actors and other celebrities. Does it surprise you when you see actors doing jobs outside of the media? Why do you think actors have second careers? Can you think of a celeb besides Seagal who has a career outside of film and/or television?
Do you think reality police shows accurately depict what a day in the life of a law enforcement officer is like?
Why do the majority of suspects on police shows appear to be from lower-income areas or people of color? What kind of message does this send to viewers? Parents: Check out our tips for talking to your kids about violence and television.
For kids who love reality TV
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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.