A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The limitations of forensic science prior to DNA testing and the potential impact that has on the incarcerated population are revealed.
Crimes are complicated and unclear.
Positive Role Models
Peggy "Peppy" Carter, the mother of one of the murder victims, exhibits strength, honesty and forgiveness throughout.
Violence & Scariness
Detailed descriptions of stabbings, rape, and shootings.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People smoke cigarettes and recount drinking in bars, smoking pot and doing cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Innocent Man is a true crime documentary series about the murder and rape of two women in the 1980s and the possibly wrongly convicted men serving time for the crimes. Grisly details of murders are discussed in detail as multiple people recount the events. Older, mature teens who have an interest in shows like Making a Murderer or The Jinx, may have an interest in this series, but the content is very dark.
Is It Any Good?
Less dramatic and twisty then many recent true crime documentaries, The Innocent Man comes off as a somewhat perfunctory entry in this genre. Due to its examination of two different crimes with two different suspects, the narrative focus isn't all that clear in the first few episodes. Only after the DNA testing is introduced at the end of episode three does the audience get a sense of where this story is headed. Once the creators introduce the idea that there may be a pattern of misconduct by the local police and prosecutor, there is a noticeable increase in the momentum of the show.
Yet as new investigators and journalists and experts are brought in help exonerate the men who have now been incarcerated for more than 30 years, viewers can't be blamed for feeling a bit of true-crime fatigue. At what point do these shows and films stop being about educating the public about the flaws of the American justice system and simply become exercises in exploitation?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.