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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Training Day is a CBS crime thriller with a plot similar to the 2001 movie of the same name. There's a lot of violence, some swearing, and some glorification of rough justice by cops. The show depicts Los Angeles as a near war zone due to the drug trade. One detective is taking the law into his own hands, so a young, ethical, heroic officer is sent to partner with him (while really keeping tabs on him) by the LAPD. Meanwhile, the young cop is searching for the killer of his father, who was also a police officer.
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What's the story?
Idealistic police officer Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell) is paired with grizzled cop Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton) by the LAPD in TRAINING DAY. The LAPD knows Rourke's activities have crossed the line into lawlessness while he hunts down the worst criminals in the drug trade, so they send Craig in under the guise of "training" with Rourke -- but he's really keeping tabs on him. Craig's father, also a cop, was killed in a mysterious robbery (or hit). Craig wants to find his killer, and Rourke, who went to the police academy with Craig's dad, wants to help him. Craig's wife is a wise school teacher, while Rourke's girlfriend is an in-the-know LA madame. By the end of the first episode, Craig realizes he's the one who needs to train Rourke back onto the right side of the law. But Rourke, of course, thinks otherwise.
Is it any good?
There's an old-Western feel to this modern crime drama that often works, but at times it crosses into a bad caricature. In the first episode of Training Day, one shoot-out even happens in a dusty ghost town. Rogue cop Frank Rourke is the quiet but deadly lone wolf who takes on outlaw drug dealers. This show's portrayal of most characters is pretty simplistic: On one side there's a lot of evil, bad dudes, and on the other, the good, brave police officers -- all except Rourke, who's a coldhearted, jaded cop (with a tiny part of his heart still soft, as displayed when he saves a young kid from being bullied into working as a lookout for a drug-dealing gang). Good cop Kyle Craig brings the most nuanced character to the show. He's a great husband, an ethical police officer, and a son loyal to the memory of his fallen father. Yet his dad's murder haunts him. He needs to find his killer, and a key buried in his father's garden may hold the secret. When he and Rourke pair up, Craig's desire for justice mixed with Rourke's lawless -- often vengeful -- pursuit of bad guys can make for some interesting drama. Who's training whom on Training Day?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Kyle and Frank's relationship in Training Day. Do these two cops like each other? Respect each other? Fear each other?
Whether it be law enforcement, medicine, or any other profession, there are some ethical standards to which most people in the profession hold themselves accountable. Why are ethics necessary in a profession? Is there ever a time when those ethics should be overlooked? Why, or why not?
For kids who love crime drama
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