A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The alleged violation of the Law of Armed Conflict, and the ethical implications of individual decisions made and actions taken by specific military personnel in Iraq, is a major theme. How military codes apply in real-life combat situations is also discussed.
Positive Role Models
All of the Navy Seals served their country. Some of the SEAL 7 team feel bad about talking against their platoon chief, but feel worse about what they witnessed him doing. They claim that they are referred to as "snitches" by other officers. Eddie Gallagher is described as obnoxious, violent, bloodthirsty, someone who put his team at risk; he characterizes his choices and behavior as appropriate and necessary for the type of war it was. Some platoon members express little regret for killing civilians while doing their job.
The SEALS are men. The majority of them are White; one is Latino. Isis is characterized as an enemy to the U.S.
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Violence & Scariness
Conversations about torturing and killing Isis members, and how people felt about doing it. The desire to kill, and the normalization of killing, is also discussed. Military weapons of all kinds are visible. There are images of wartime military exercises, including sniper and tank fire, explosions, etc. SEAL Team 7 body cameras show them being shot at, bombed, and shooting at people, and people are shown being injured and with bloody wounds. Dead bodies are visible, sometimes close up and with visible wounds; a photograph of platoon members standing over a body in celebration is shown repeatedly.
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Curses like "ass," "hell," "goddamn," "s--t," "f--k" are audible in footage.
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Products & Purchases
Occasionally archive footage shows logos for products like Sprite.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The abuse of an opioid (Tramadol) is discussed; allegations are made about a specific platoon member's abuse of the drug.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Line is a docuseries surrounding the controversial investigation into, and the subsequent trial of, former Navy SEALs platoon chief Eddie Gallagher for violating Laws of Armed Conflict while deployed in Iraq. There's lots of descriptions of violent acts, as well as body camera footage of military operations, explosions, and sniper fire. People with bloody wounds and dead bodies are shown, sometimes close up. Crude language and strong cursing is consistent throughout the series, and in one episode partial nudity (a bare bottom) is visible. Drug abuse is discussed.
Is It Any Good?
As the compelling TV documentary chronicles Eddie Gallagher's actions during deployment in Mosul, Iraq, it reveals conflicting viewpoints surrounding the moral standards that guide modern-day military operations. The decision of some SEAL Team 7 members to report Gallagher (the first time in Navy SEALs history that officers turn their leader in for alleged war crimes) was motivated by actions they allegedly saw him commit, and the immorality he exhibited while committing them. But Gallagher, who is a decorated SEAL who served in the Navy for 19 years, argues that the younger, more inexperienced team members are unable to understand that the decisions he made during the covert mission were both appropriate and necessary if they were going to succeed in clearing out the Isis capital.
As platoon members, U.S. civilians, and even then-President Trump contextualize the events that took place from their points of view, the overall documentary narrative serves as a foundation for broader conversations about contemporary military ethics.The Line underscores what it means to serve in the armed forces, and the formal and unwritten doctrines that guide its members. But conversations are also had about how these principles are challenged when confronted with the realities of combat, and whether or not this was acceptable in Iraq given the nature of the conflict. Though an interesting discussion, the consequences of this "gray area," which includes normalizing (and justifying) the taking of human lives in ways that violate the Laws of War that some viewers will find most disturbing. It's not the easiest docuseries to watch, but it certainly leaves viewers with a lot of food for thought.
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.