The New Detectives

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The New Detectives TV Poster Image
Science helps solve crimes in so-so docudrama.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Follows law enforement as they try to solve crimes, put away criminals, and give closure to the affected families. Criminal behavior is described in detail.

Violence

Murder, arson, robbery, assault, rape -- all possible topics are discussed and investigated. Reenactments show limited physical violence, but the narrator describes violence in detail.

Sex

Some shows might include discussion of sexual topics (semen, etc.) in the course of investigating a crime.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some reenactments show people smoking and drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality-based crime investigation show deals with gruesome crimes and very disturbing scenarios like a man setting a woman on fire. While what appears onscreen isn't graphic, the narrator and interviewees describe crimes and violence in detail. Reenactments sometimes show people arguing and struggling physically, as well as crime scenes with dead bodies.

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What's the story?

THE NEW DETECTIVES is a documentary-style crime show that focuses on investigations in which forensic science plays a major role. Using reenactments and interviews with the real detectives and forensic scientists who worked the cases, each episode tells the story of a crime, its investigation, and its resolution. Each installment follows two or three complicated cases through the twists and turns of the detectives' work, and cases run the gamut from domestic abuse turned murder to arson to kidnapping. While the dramatizations aren't graphic, they allude to very disturbing situations, and narrator Gene Galusha fills in the gaps of what viewers don't actually see on screen. In one episode, for example, viewers see a perpetrator pouring flammable material onto a body (which is hidden behind furniture) and then dropping a lit match.

Is it any good?

One notable thing about The New Detectives is its inclusion of the real investigators in the reenactments. Some might think that this adds to the dramatization's realistic quality, while others might be distracted by the knowledge that the investigators are replaying their actions alongside hired actors. (Speaking of dramatizations, while reenactments tend to be corny in general, these are particularly bad.) But The New Detectives is much less glossy that its dramatic counterpart CSI, so for teens enamored with the sexy portrayal of criminal investigators, this might be the reality check they need. Tweens and younger kids should definitely stay away.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between a reality-based show like this and a drama like CSI. What are the major differences between these shows? Does either show make teens want to be forensic scientists? Which seems more realistic?

TV details

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