Wisdom of the Crowd

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wisdom of the Crowd TV Poster Image
Compelling tech-driven crime drama raises ethical issues.

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

Positive messages

Technology can help problem-solve in a variety of ways. Questions relating to privacy, other ethical issues raised. 

Positive role models & representations

Tanner is motivated by his daughter's death, but is willing to help others. Some of the tactics used by the Sophe team aren't always ethical or legal. 

Violence

Murder is a theme. Rape discussed. 

Sex

Some sexual innuendo. 

Language

"Hell."

Consumerism

Instagram, other social media mentioned. 

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Drinking (wine, hard liquor).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wisdom of the Crowd is a crime solving series that makes itself relevant by focusing on technology-specific issues. Murder, rape, and other crimes are addressed. There's some sexual innuendo, words like "damn," and social drinking. Social media sites like Instagram are discussed, but within the context of the overall storyline. 

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What's the story?

Adapted from the Israeli series of the same name, WISDOM OF THE CROWD is a dramatic series about a tech entrepreneur that revolutionizes the crime solving process. After the murder of his daughter Mia, Silicon Valley innovator Jeffrey Tanner (Jeremy Piven) creates Sophe, a crowdsourcing app designed to help solve murders by allowing the public to share information. The twist? He believes that the person currently in prison for murdering his daughter is innocent, and he wants people to use the app to help find the real killer. He recruits Detective Tommy Cavanaugh (Richard T. Jones), the initial investigator assigned to his daughter's case, to help him. Meanwhile, engineer Sara Morton (Natalia Tena), programmer Josh Novak (Blake Lee), and genius hacker Tariq Bakari (Jake Matthews) keep Sophe running in their Oakland, California, hub. As more people use the app, Tanner realizes that his technology can help solve other open cases. But he won't let go of the one case that's personal to him, much to the concern of his ex-wife, congresswoman Alex Hale (Monica Potter). 

Is it any good?

This intriguing series combines technology and community to create a relevant twist to an otherwise traditional crime series. It highlights the growing role technology has in information gathering and problem-solving, as well as some of the cultural norms that drive the tech industry, like innovation and staying ahead of the technological curve. It also shows how people can use social media and other online platforms to make positive contributions to their real-time communities. 

The ongoing ethical questions surrounding the use of technology for investigative purposes, such as protecting people's right to privacy and the unfortunate and sometimes tragic consequences of posting false information online, are frequently raised. However, many of these questionable behaviors are justified by the positive outcomes that come from doing them. It may not be legally sound, but Wisdom of the Crowd is still compellingly entertaining. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about technology and the culture surrounding it. What is Silicon Valley? Where is it? What does crowdsourcing mean? What is a hacker? 

  • What do you think the title, Wisdom of the Crowd, means? Why? 

TV details

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