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SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS: Episodes 1.1 and 1.2: “Sacrificial Soldiers” and “The Beating”

"Derivative Spy Thriller Fails to Roar"

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What You Need To Know:

SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS is a spy series on Paramount Plus. It follows the activities of the Lioness Engagement Team, a group of CIA operatives tasked with compromising terrorist leaders by befriending and manipulating their wives, girlfriends and daughters. In the first two episodes, Zoe Saldaña plays the team’s leader who recruits a young Marine to go undercover after their previous asset was killed in action. The young woman endures grueling, unforgiving training exercises before taking on her first mission, embedding herself near a terrorist leader’s teenage daughter.

SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS is an excellent spy show trapped inside a pitiful, derivative SEAL TEAM rip-off. The first two episodes get too caught up in the star power of Zoe Saldaña and Nicole Kidman, to give Laysla De Oliveira the screen time her heroic, inspiring character deserves. The program’s commitment to portraying the U.S. Armed Forces in a positive light is commendable. However, the first two episodes of SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS have strong obscenities, dysfunctional families, intense war and torture violence, and gratuitous lewd content. MOVIEGUIDE® finds the program unsuitable to continue coverage any further.

Content:

(BB, PP, AB, FR, LLL, VV, S, NN, A, MM)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral, Pro-American, patriotic worldview where a main character demonstrates selfless worldview guided by her strong desire to protect the weak, the U.S. military and intelligence community are played positively, and a physician is guided by a

Foul Language:
At least 82 “f” words, 18 other obscenities and two light profanities across two hour-long episodes

Violence:
Several sequences of war violence and torture, man-on-woman domestic violence, an angry man punches a doctor in the face, a woman is tortured and waterboarded in a training exercise, a bar fight occurs

Sex:
Some sexual content incudes a reference to strippers, a couple is implied to have an open marriage, a man makes a suggestive sexual gesture, and a married couple has sex in bed under covers

Nudity:
Very brief upper female nudity when a woman gets out of the shower and puts on a robe, female rear nudity when a woman is being examined for tattoos by her superior

Alcohol Use:
CIA team drinks together while off-duty

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Biracial daughter disrespects her father because he’s a white man, and there’s some family dysfunction, both in marital and parent-child relationships.

More Detail:

SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS follows the activities of the Lioness Engagement Team, a group of CIA operatives tasked with compromising terrorist leaders by befriending and manipulating their wives, girlfriends and daughters. Zoe Saldaña plays the team’s leader, who recruits a young Marine (Laysla De Oliveira) to go undercover after their previous asset was killed in action.

Lioness is an excellent spy show trapped inside a pitiful, derivative SEAL TEAM rip-off. De Oliveira’s Marine-turned-CIA-operative is an authentically female, uniquely inspiring heroine who rises above domestic abuse to serve her country and protect the weak. Sadly, the first two episodes get too caught up in the star power of Zoe Saldaña and her superior, played by Nicole Kidman, to give de Oliveira the screen time her character deserves. LIONESS could have been a bold new entry into a stale TV genre, but instead, it succumbs to the all-too-common affliction of allowing A-listers in what should have been minor roles to weigh down the primary storylines that ought to belong to other, more intriguing characters.

While the show’s commitment to portraying the U.S. Armed Forces in a positive light is noteworthy, its stances on other moral issues are severely lacking. Zoe Saldaña and Dave Annable portray the parents of a dysfunctional family, beleaguered by the consequences of an

open marriage and Saldaña’s prioritization of her profession over her family. Many gratuitous obscenities, heavy war and torture violence, and some lewd content make SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS excessive and unsuitable for viewing. MOVIEGUIDE® finds the program unsuitable to continue our coverage of it any further.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.