The Unit

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Unit TV Poster Image
Weak military action-drama best for teens and up.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main characters are good guys, fighting for justice with good intentions. One main character is rough and has a history of domestic violence. Gender stereotypes are inherent to the storyline. Terrorists, so far, are exclusively Muslim. One recurring character is in wheelchair.

Violence

Gunplay, exposions, minor blood, mild torture, hints of domestic violence.

Sex

Passionate kissing, couples in bed together, adultery, some sexual language.

Language

Some adult language. "Sorry's what you tell your girlfriend when you finish too quick."

Consumerism

Corona and Budweiser beer and Jack Daniels bottles appear briefly.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

All of the main characters drink alcohol. Drinking is portrayed as a method for being oneself or relieving stress.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in addition to the violence inherent in its military action sequences, this unexciting series deals with adult themes of adultery, domestic violence, drinking, and miscarriage. Women and men hold stereotypical roles, and children are mostly seen but not heard. Terrorists, at least early in the first season, are Muslim only.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byElleEmanuelle April 9, 2008

Great Show

The Unit is a thought-provoking, intelligent show that portrays the army and military families with respect, admiration, evenhandedness, and civility. The chara... Continue reading
Adult Written byharrisonfordlova January 13, 2009

AWESOME

this show simply rocks =P
Teen, 13 years old Written byDman April 9, 2008

Amazing

Fantastic action/drama...After seeing the season premier for the third season, I am more psyched than ever about this series...CSM really missed the mark with t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviemogul 2.0;... April 9, 2008

What's the story?

In THE UNIT, an elite military special forces team fights terrorism at home and abroad while, back at the base, their wives hold down the home front while worrying about their husbands' safety. Dennis Haysbert leads the team as Jonas Blane, backed by his crew, which includes newbie Bob Brown (Scott Foley from Felicity). Back at the base, Molly Blane (Regina Taylor) serves as the matriarch, helping to acclimate Kim Brown (Audrey Marie Anderson) to the secretive life of a special forces wife while keeping an eye on the emotional and spiritual lives of the rest of the women. Playwright and filmmaker David Mamet writes and directs some episodes and shares executive producing credits with Shawn Ryan, creator of the Emmy-winning The Shield.

Is it any good?

The show's male-female dichotomy, while potentially realistic in some military homes, isn't portrayed with any critical distance. The idea that the woman's role is to care for the home and family while providing an emotional safe haven for her stoic, hard-working husband is only reinforced by the dialogue ("If he's anything like mine, he's gonna need a little space.") and the action (when the new guy looks at photos of his wife and daughter before beginning a dangerous mission, Blane tells him the best way to get home to them is to put the photos away and concentrate on the mission).

Violence plays a big part in the show, though it doesn't reach the graphic heights of 24. Guns are big and plentiful, and in the first episode, Brown slits a terrorist's throat rather gruesomely and Blane shoots a mule point-blank as a distraction device. The violence doesn't end back at home, either, with hints of domestic violence complicated by adultery. Despite the mostly strong actors and the talent behind the camera, The Unit rehashes familiar territory, adding only the female aspect to the mix, and doing it without panache.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about traditional male and female roles and how they've changed in the last several decades. Why don't we see women in more combat roles? And what about killing and torture? Under what circumstances are these acts acceptable? How different do you think the real-life military is from the fictionalized military portrayed in television and movies?

TV details

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