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 Take Two is a comedy police procedural, and while it has a more gentle tone than many of its peers, there are crimes on each episode, and sometimes they run toward the serious: murder, kidnapping, serious bodily harm. Detectives, cops, and criminals all carry guns, and there are sometimes shoot-outs (though no one is killed on-screen) and brief glimpses of dead bodies, sometimes with blood (but no gore). Sexual content is similarly light, but present: flirting, dating, kissing, references to sex, and cases that contain sexual aspects, such as a man who watches women through a hidden camera in a hotel room. Main characters are single; expect them to date and have sex with each other, and other characters. Cursing and questionable language includes "ass," "hell," "sucks," "damn." There's some social drinking, and references to Sam's past drug use: alcohol, pills, and cocaine, which is occasionally joked about. Main characters are on the side of justice and victims' rights, but some characters are referred to stereotypically (e.g., "an LA street thug").
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Fresh out of rehab, "tabloid train wreck" and actress Sam Swift (Rachel Bilson) is desperate to reignite her stalled career in TAKE TWO. The way she figures it, she has one last shot: auditioning for a part as a detective on a TV series. To pump up her chances of getting the part, she cadges a ride-along with expert Los Angeles private investigator Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian). But when Sam finds she likes solving crimes almost as much as portraying a sleuth on TV, and as a resentful Eddie slowly learns to respect Sam's instincts, the two may find that there's a city full of victims who need them on the case.
Is it any good?
The team that made Castle a hit is clearly hoping that lightning will strike twice on a show about a sparky duo of investigators solving crimes and slinging quips. Unfortunately, Eddie Cibrian, while square-jawed and rakish, lacks the impish appeal of Nathan Fillion, who was the secret weapon that transformed his show from forgettable into lots of fun. So although the chemistry between Bilson and Cibrian is just fine, and the writers ply their traditional crime-meets-light-comedy schtick with expertise, the whole show comes off as just a shade blander than viewers might prefer.
Nevertheless, the innate cheese of a sleuth comedy can be relaxing to watch. If a bad guy says to meet him under "the pier," you can expect Sam and Eddie not just to know which one, but be waiting with binoculars handy to stake it out. Villains have easy-to-sneak-into lairs at which they helpfully keep kidnap victims alone in accessible rooms. And crimes that have laid waste to entire swathes of Los Angeles and left law enforcement befuddled will be easily solved by Sam and Eddie in under 50 minutes. Take Two isn't great art, or even great TV, but if Castle was your thing, this thing might be too, despite the diminished charm.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this kind of crime show is more appealing than one like CSI. If so, why? Do crimes like murder seem less upsetting in this context? What's the impact of seeing violence on television?
Families can discuss why so many TV shows revolve around "odd-couple" pairings. Is it just a way to generate conflict? Do you think odd-couple partnerships are better for drama shows or comedies? Can you think of any real-life odd couples?
Is this crime drama any different from others? What does it do better or worse than others? Why do you think people enjoy watching crime stories? What is entertaining about watching people do bad things (or be victims of them)?
For kids who love mysteries
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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.