Take Two

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Take Two TV Poster Image
Lighthearted detective show is a less charming "Castle."

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

As with most criminal justice shows, the main message is "crime doesn't pay," and Sam and Eddie investigate crimes both serious and otherwise, though the overall light tone keeps things from getting too scary. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sam and Eddie have a classic mismatched partners setup: He's more serious, she's more blithe; both are intrepid when it comes to solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice. Both have romantic wreckage in their past, and Sam is described as a "tabloid train wreck." Less positive: the show's use of stereotypes to describe characters quickly, like "an LA street thug." 


Violence is less gory than what's found on some police procedurals. Though both cops and criminals have guns and there are occasional shoot-outs, bound-and-gagged victims, and dead bodies with bloody wounds, the camera doesn't linger long on violence, and even the most serious scenes are usually lightened up with wisecracks. 


Sam and Eddie are both single and interested -- expect romantic entanglements, flirting, kissing, sexual references. Some aspects of crimes might be sexual, like a man who puts a hidden camera in a hotel room to watch female guests (and is called a "perv"), or a case in which Sam and Eddie must visit an escort service. 


Cursing and questionable language includes "ass," "hell," "sucks," "damn." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes take place at bars with adults drinking cocktails and beers; no one acts drunk. Sam has addiction problems in her past, which are sometimes the source of jokes like one in which she refers to using "booze and pills" to cope, or one in which a colleague refers to her past drug habit with an ostentatious sniffing sound (implying she used cocaine). 

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"). 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCarrieh69 May 20, 2019
Adult Written byHeja August 10, 2018
Very interesting, clean, and
Enjoyable. Great cast.
Teen, 13 years old Written byFabulousFemale127 July 12, 2018

One of My New Favorites

It’s a great show I saw the newest episode on regular tv and was obsessed so I downloaded Abc to watch the rest, I absolutely love it and great acting, I love t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJKickbutt11 October 22, 2018

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)? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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