What parents need to know
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.
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?
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?