A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Protecting communities involves self-control and awareness of implicit and explicit biases. Compassion is an important tool in helping others and keeping neighborhoods safe.
Positive Role Models
Nicole Steele (Wunmi Mosaku) does her best to hold the Baltimore police accountable for their racially biased and overtly violent policing. The show overall holds the Baltimore police to task for the rampant corruption within the ranks.
The series focuses on the over-policing of Black people within the Baltimore city limits, and most cast depict Black people within the police force and those who are policed (both regular citizens and actual criminals). Cultural knowledge of police-brutality cases, such Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore, loom large over the characters and their decisions. Black characters are nuanced and multifaceted, regardless of whether they're "good" or "bad."
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Descriptions of police brutality and scenes of police brutality. Scenes with guns.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Joke about having an "erection" over finding evidence for a crime, descriptions of sex and "snapping nudes," frontal nudity during a strip club scene.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Swear words including "ho," "f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "balls out," "ass," "f--king," "s--t," "hell," "motherf---er," "bulls--t," "s--tbirds," "goddamn," "titties." Slurs like the N-word and "mick" (describing people of Irish descent). Exclamatory use of "oh my God."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Descriptions of drug dealing and scenes with characters drinking alcohol. Scene with a character who died from a drug overdose.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that We Own This City is a drama detailing the fallout within the Baltimore police department as the organization's corruption comes to light after Freddie Gray's murder. There are scenes of police brutality and profuse swearing, as well as alcohol consumption and descriptions of drug use and overdose. The sexual content includes scenes within a gentlemen's club and sexual jokes.
Is It Any Good?
If the worst thing we could say about this show is that it's like another season of The Wire, that's not too bad. We Own This City claims to show a more recent Baltimore, but the series seems more like a retread of the themes covered in The Wire than something wholly original. Of course, there will be immediate comparisons to The Wire since David Simon is the creator and executive producer of both series. And perhaps, the fact that We Own This City is so similar to its predecessor is an indictment of Baltimore itself--suggesting that the city hasn't changed enough since The Wire's 2008 finale.
Regardless, We Own This City doesn't differentiate itself enough from The Wire to make it feel like appointment viewing, but it does have The Wire's nuanced, journalistic-style writing, humanistic portrayals of characters (especially its Black characters on both sides of the "thin blue line"), and an urge to showcase Baltimore as a city struggling to embrace is positives and find itself. Fans of The Wire should find plenty to appreciate in We Own This City, as long as they aren't seeking something wholly new.
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.