Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this gritty crime drama makes little effort to sugarcoat its depiction of life on the mean inner city streets of Los Angeles. The criminals may be dangerous, but the cops are almost even more violent, and they aren't afraid to bend a few rules when it comes to extracting a confession from a suspect or forcing someone to rat out an accomplice. There are guns, drugs, sex, and plenty of swearing. It's realistic and well-done, but definitely not for kids.
Some fairly graphic sexual scenes, including occasional nudity.
This cop drama includes beatings, shoot-outs, violence, rapes (and other sexual assault/violence), and deaths. Both criminals and cops are guilty of violent acts. It's realistic, and not pretty.
The characters live rough, and their language reflects their lifestyle. Lots of swearing, including "s--t" and "a--hole" (both unbleeped).
Mackey is a cop who doesn't play by the rules, and much of this show centers on his efforts to hide his actions from his superiors, who are often willing to look the other way as long as he continues to bring down the bad guys.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Being a cop is a tough job -- the characters on this show often unwind with a stiff drink or a smoke. Many of the villains are drug dealers, who sometimes sample their own wares.