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 while this legal/courtroom dramedy is entertaining, it revolves around the world of the Las Vegas strip -- so there's lots of gambling, drinking (cocktails, champagne), and other adult-oriented activities (references to stripping, lap dances, etc.). Expect some strong sexual innuendo and images of people undressing and in their underwear. Words like “ass” and “hell” are audible, and violent crimes like kidnapping, assault, and murder are discussed.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
THE DEFENDERS stars Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell as Nick Morelli and Pete Kaczmarek, two Las Vegas attorneys who -- despite their very different personalities -- share the same commitment to fight for the clients they're representing. Helping the dynamic defense duo is Lisa Tyler (Jurnee Smollet), a recent law school graduate whose past life as an adult entertainer sometimes keeps her from being taken seriously. Meanwhile, the firm’s quirky office assistant, Zoe Waters (Tanya Fischer), manages to keep order. Outside the courtroom, Morelli struggles to cope with his relationship with his estranged wife, Jessica (Gillian Vigman), while Kaczmarek takes advantage of some of pleasures the Strip has to offer.
Is it any good?
The show -- which is based on real-life Las Vegas attorneys Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese -- couches its storylines within the context of Las Vegas' infamous culture ... and the tough laws that govern it. But while the series deals with serious subjects like assault, drug trafficking, immigration, and murder, it also has its fair share of quirky moments and mischievous adult behavior.
The discussions featured here aren’t as technical as in other legal dramas, and some of the climactic moments are a bit theatrical. But overall, it offers up courtroom entertainment that's both interesting and indulgent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this show compares to other legal dramas. What do they tend to have in common? What (if anything) sets this one apart?
What makes Las Vegas so appealing to so many people? How does the media typically portray Vegas life? Do you think practicing law in Las Vegas is any different from practicing law anywhere else in the United States? Why or why not?