The Protector

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Protector TV Poster Image
Single mom as savvy detective; strong language, some blood.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shows some of the challenges that come with balancing a career with single parenthood. It also demonstrates how the support of family and colleagues can make it possible.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gloria Sheppard is an empowered woman who is both a dedicated mother and talented detective. Davey Sheppard has a troubled past, but is committed to his sister and his nephews.


Guns, dead bodies, bloody wounds, and broken limbs are visible. The Sheppard family sometimes throws steak knives at targets for fun. Gloria Sheppard sometimes makes references to injuries sustained by victims to her children. Burns are occasionally visible on her arms, and references are made to a childhood accident.


Infidelity, lovers, and mistresses are discussed. References about having sex range from being very subtle to occasionally being referred to as "banging."


Words like "piss," "ass," and "bitch" are audible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Contains references to Viagra, "meth heads," and drug-related crimes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this series is milder than other popular crime dramas, it contains some strong images (blood, broken limbs, dead bodies), drug references, and a fair amount of salty language ("bitch," "ass," "piss"). Mature themes like divorce, single motherhood, and adultery are discussed.

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What's the story?

THE PROTECTOR is a dramatic series starring Ally Walker as the recently divorced Gloria Sheppard, a LAPD homicide detective who is juggling her demanding career with single motherhood. When the energetic Sheppard isn’t solving murder cases with the help of partner Detective Michelle Dulcett (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and officer Ramon Reyes (Terrell Tilford), she is raising her sons Nick (Sage Ryan) and Leo (Thomas Robinson) with the help of her adult younger brother Davey (Chris Payne Gilbert). Not surprisingly, her life gets pretty complicated, especially when her unorthodox crime solving methods irritate her boss, Lieutenant Felix Valdez (Miguel Ferrer).

Is it any good?

The show’s combination of conventional crime-solving narratives with heartfelt family drama isn’t particularly original. However, the fact that these stories are being told from the point of view of a woman trying to balance the two makes it somewhat unique.

Granted, Sheppard’s ability to do it all (and look good doing it) feels pretty unrealistic. But her likable personality, combined with her boundless energy, is what makes the series entertaining.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it is like to balance a career with being a parent. How do police officers and detectives keep some of the difficult and violent parts of their job separate from their family life? Is it harder for moms to do this vs. dads? Parents: Do you think this show offers a realistic portrayal of how hard it is?

  • Talk about the juxtaposition of family life and violence. Does it feel uncomfortable? What is the appeal of a show that combines these two elements?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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