Vice Squad

 
(i)

 

Rough reality show about cops making arrests isn't for kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show is about police work -- specifically the vice squad -- so there's a lot of questionable behavior going on, although it's usually on the part of the suspects. The emphasis is more on the busts than on how the police work is done.

Violence

Guns are drawn repeatedly, and there's always the potential for violence. Suspects are often treated very roughly. In one instance, an officer pulls down a handcuffed suspect's pants, ostensibly as he's searching him.

Sex

Several prostitutes who are busted are shown in their revealing clothes. The nature of their profession also leads to discussion of condoms and other forms of protection.

Language

Perhaps not surprisingly, there's a fair amount of bleeped language -- and in at least some instances, you can tell what the person actually said.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Most of the busts involve drug sales (such is the nature of the vice squad, after all), and there's discussion of the value of the various drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows vice-squad cops as they bust drug sellers, prostitutes, and the like -- isn't age-appropriate for young viewers. Guns are frequently drawn, suspects are often treated roughly/abruptly (including an instance in which two teen girls are asked to lie face down during the course of the arrest), and there's plenty of strong language -- although most of it is bleeped, you can often still tell what was said. The show also focuses much more on the actual busts than on the police work that precedes them, so it doesn't really offer much thoughtful insight into law enforcement.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Much like the many other police reality shows that have preceded it, VICE SQUAD's cameras ride along with real-life cops from across the country as they arrest suspects in drug, prostitution, and gambling cases. The series' emphasis is solidly on the bust, rather than on the police work that preceded it, meaning there's a lot more action than insight.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ultimately, Vice Squad isn't very interesting -- after all, one arrest looks very much like another. Even segments that focus on "characters" like ditzy hookers are rather dull. The idea is to shock, but the result is so "been there, done that" that it just isn't that shocking. Nor do the officers come off looking that good. Their talk about how they're helping the world feels cheesy rather than noble, especially since some of them are masked (probably with good reason).

Add all of that to the fact that the show is full of references to illegal sex, drugs, gambling, and more, and you can see why this isn't exactly family-friendly viewing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether shows like this actually reflect the reality of police work. How much of the cops' daily lives do you think gets edited out to make the show "exciting"? And what do you think producers want viewers to take away when they watch? Do you think shows like this one can serve as cautionary tales? Why or why not?

TV details

Network:MyNetworkTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR

This review of Vice Squad was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Gritty -- but provoking -- reality show.
  • Opening minds, one month at a time. Teens and up.
  • Unflinching reality series from Cops team.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass