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Stumptown

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Stumptown TV Poster Image
Fun crime solving drama with strong, flawed female lead.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Investigating crimes is central to the series, but themes relating to veterans, PTSD, gambling, and destructive behaviors are frequent. Family and friendship are also themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dex Parios is flawed and is fighting her own demons, but is inherently a good person. Younger brother Ansel has Down syndrome. 

Violence

Car chases, fights, beatings, and guns are part of the action (some blood and bruises are visible). Kidnappings and other criminal events are featured. Violent flashbacks of wartime events are also shown or discussed. 

Sex

Strong innuendo, ranging from conversations about relationships to references to having sex. Scenes include pre and post moments after sexual encounters. 

Language

Words like "hell," "damn," etc. 

Consumerism

Dex Parios drives a beat-up Pontiac GTO.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking (beer, hard alcohol). Grey McConnell owns a bar and Ansel Parios helps him out with it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stumptown is a crime series about a troubled veteran trying to get her life together while working as a private investigator. Themes pertaining to veterans and their challenges are present, and there are some violent moments (fights, kidnappings, etc.), sexual innuendo, and lots of drinking. 

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What's the story?

Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, STUMPTOWN centers around a smart but troubled army veteran-turned-private investigator in Portland, Oregon. Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) can't seem to get her life together, thanks to a gambling problem, PTSD, and an inability to move past a long-lost romance. But she's committed to taking care of her brother, Ansel (Cole Sibus), and relies on her few friends, like Grey McConnell (Jake Johnson), to help her get through. When a former lover's mother, casino owner Tantoo Cardinal (Sue Lynn Blackbird), asks her to search for her missing granddaughter, Dex relies on her military experience and biting humor to try to get the job done. Along the way she takes a lot of risks, and sometimes finds herself on the wrong side of police detective Miles Hoffman (Michael Early) and Lieutenant Cosgrove (Camryn Manheim). What follows is unexpected, but it opens up a new career opportunity for Dex to explore. 

Is it any good?

This entertaining series uses lots of action and sharp wit to to tell the story of a troubled woman who's still finding her way a decade after coming back from the war in Afghanistan. Its storylines are sometimes predictable, but there are some twists and turns that keep it interesting. Meanwhile, Cobie Smulders' ​​​​performance as Dex Parios, a strong and edgy female character who is honest about her major flaws and unapologetic about her attitude, adds a fun angle to what could be a standard crime drama. As a result, Stumptown is an easy show to keep tuning in to. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reason Portland, Oregon, is known as Stumptown. Where does the name come from? 

  • What is PTSD? How can a traumatic event impact someone years later? Does Stumptown portray this trauma accurately?

TV details

For kids who love mysteries

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