A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series runs with the concept that evil organizations operate throughout the world, killing those who get in their way. There's a lot of duplicity at play, on both sides of the divide between right and wrong. Women feature prominently in the stories, mostly upholding gender roles of the time but sometimes demonstrating abilities that are less traditional. Characters from far-flung nationalities collaborate for the good of the whole world.
Positive Role Models
Solo and his coworkers stand for justice and seek to protect all peace-loving people across the globe, but to do so they're forced to misrepresent themselves and even kill people. Their adversaries are short on morals, usually motivated by greed or power and willing to eliminate anyone who stands in their way.
Violence & Scariness
Shoot-outs and chase scenes, and some dead bodies shown but not bloody. People are handcuffed, held prisoner, and knocked out by gas. Explosions and fires.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing and lots of wink-wink moments shared between adults. Some women are shown in swimsuits. Flirting in the workplace, as when a man calls a woman his "little agent provocateur."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink and smoke in keeping with the show's 1960s setting.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a spy drama from the 1960s, so cultural differences are prominent throughout the show. Female characters factor in but definitely tend toward the traditional, usually cast as devoted housewives, accommodating flight attendants, and self-deprecating coworkers. Despite the collaboration between American and Soviet agents, the political setting hints at the Cold War tensions of the time as well. You'll see plenty of shooting and some dead bodies but no blood, and perilous predicaments are mostly short-lived and end happily for the good guys. Wink-wink moments between men and women will go over tweens' heads, and there's no sexy stuff beyond that to worry about.
Is It Any Good?
More than half a century after it first aired, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. still manages to entertain, even with its rudimentary effects and significant cheese factor in comparison to the modern caliber of dramas. Much of its appeal can be attributed to Vaughn, who's exceptional in the leading role, and his working relationship with his able Soviet counterpart. Their cooperation was groundbreaking in the '60s, given political tensions at the time, but now it's just another quality feature of this long-respected series.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. also shows its age in pristine content that's unburdened by any strong language, minimal sexuality (mostly suggestions), and violence that's mostly blood-free. Yes, people are still killed (always the bad guys), but it's pretty sanitary viewing. What does stand out are the interactions between men and women, which usually are laced with sexual suggestions and knowing smiles. Even so, if you're looking for a spy drama that's safe to share with your tweens, this classic might fit the bill.
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.