Raising the Bar

2008 TV-14 1 season

Raising the Bar

2008 TV-14 1 season
  • Overview
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This edgy legal drama series follows the trials and triumphs of Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), a zealous public defender whose thirst for justice drives him and his fellow defense attorneys to run afoul of the cops and courts. Often opposing Jerry in the courtroom is ambitious Asst. DA Michelle Ernhardt (Melissa Sagemiller), who also happens to be his partner in the bedroom. The ensemble cast also includes Gloria Reuben and Currie Graham.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben, Currie Graham, Melissa Sagemiller, J. August Richards, Jonathan Scarfe, Teddy Sears, Jane Kaczmarek, Natalia Cigliuti, Stacy Hall
  • SEASON  2

Summary of Season 2 (2009) - 4 discs

Idealistic public defender Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) continues to seek justice for even the most down-and-out defendants, earning well-deserved accolades from his supportive boss, Rosalind Whitman (Gloria Reuben), in Season 2 of this popular legal drama. But illicit affairs and closely guarded secrets ensure that the some of the show's tensest moments take place outside of the courthouse. Melissa Sagemiller and Jane Kaczmarek co-star.
TV-14 - This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this soapy, adult-targeted legal drama -- which focuses on the professional and personal lives of a group of public defenders, prosecutors, and other players in the New York City legal system -- includes a notable amount of sexual innuendo. Viewers can also expect strong language ("bitch," "douche bag," etc.), discussions about violent behavior (assault, rape, murder, etc.), frequent drinking, and references to illegal drug use.

Sexual Content

Some strong sexual innuendo, including references to homosexuality and homophobia. One prosecutor consistently makes inappropriate sexual remarks. Female characters are sometimes seen wearing nothing but towels.


Frequent discussions of criminally violent behavior, like assault and murder, as well as criminal sexual behavior, like rape and castration.


Language includes words like "bitch," "screw," and "douche bag."

Social Behavior

The series highlights the problems that exist in the legal system, but a lot of the focus is on the personal and often inappropriate relationships between the different people involved in that system. The cast is primarily Caucasian; Whitman and McGrath are African-American. The majority of defendants are people of color.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Visible consumption of alcohol, including whiskey, vodka, and other hard liquor. Some strong references to drug (marijuana) use.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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