A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series takes place in a world of low-end criminals and shabby private investigators; while the morality of these characters is often questionable on both sides, it is usually clear who is good, and what the show's protagonists stand for.
Positive Role Models
A large part of the series' charm is in the lead character's eagerness to avoid trouble and use deception to further his own goals. However, he usually does the right thing and takes risks to help those who are in need, even if he complains about it the entire time.
Violence & Scariness
Produced in the 1970s, the show falls safely in line with network television content of the era. There is no blood or gore, but nearly every episode builds to a climax involving gun play, fisticuffs, or a combination of both. There are occasional on-screen deaths but again, these are extremely non-graphic in nature.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional mild flirtation and kissing, but tame in comparison to today's network television dramas.
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Characters occasionally use terms such as "idiot" to describe each other.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
As befits a series that aired nearly 40 years ago, the show takes a more liberal attitude toward alcohol and smoking. Main characters indulge freely in social settings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 1970s detective series features frequent violence, though it will appear tame by today's broadcast television standards. The show's characters frequently occupy grey areas of morality, but only for the sake of clever dialogue and plotting. The show's tone is relaxed and easy, in spite of the fact that it's set in a typically intense genre.
Is It Any Good?
It may be hard to appreciate from the perspective of today's highly evolved TV dramas, but The Rockford Files was a groundbreaking and critically significant series for the 1970s. Until Jim Rockford ambled onto the screen, TV detectives were hard-nosed, chisel-jawed champions of justice, as bland as the black-and-white shows they used to star in.
Jim Rockford represented a more complex, humorous take on the PI genre. His character made an indelible impression on the history of television, and the playful dialogue and plotting freed TV creators to explore more interesting territory on such notable 1980s series as St. ElseWhere and Hill Street Blues. Perhaps most importantly, the show remains immensely watchable, full of humor and unforgettable supporting players.
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.