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TV Series Review

Who says crime doesn't pay? At Contra Security, crime is part of an honest day's work.

The company, headed by one-time counterfeiter "Oz" Osbourne, is largely staffed with ex-cons, making Contra one of the few businesses where, during an interview, a criminal record looks good on the ol' résumé. So many shady citizens work there, in fact, that you begin to wonder whether they might hold job fairs at halfway houses. Cameron, Contra's resident hacker, was recruited out of college (where he'd given himself a lifetime scholarship). And Melanie picks locks. Cash is Contra's resident "Q," dabbling in all manner of gadgetry. And master of disguise Josh seems to just like playing dress-up.

To prove Contra's collective worth to prospective clients, Oz and Co. rob 'em. OK, "rob" is perhaps too strong a term. They simply break into various businesses to demonstrate to those who might hire them just how weak their current systems are—and, of course, how much they'd benefit from Contra taking over their security operations. Contra would never actually rob anyone. They're the good guys, remember?

Not that it's always easy to tell. Because we see Contra's "good guys" do all manner of bad things.

It's like the entire business has been given a free pass by society to have all the fun that comes with a life of crime (minus the bags of ill-gotten booty) without any of the unfortunate legal drawbacks. And while Breaking In can be funny, it often mines its humor from the natural incongruities of this premise. In flashback, for instance, Melanie's father gives her a special present for Christmas: a lock-picking kit. "The rest of your gifts are out there somewhere, sweetheart," he says kindly. "Now go get 'em!" It's a classic example of small-screen fantasy fulfillment—the equivalent of eating all the Twinkies you want and never getting fat.

And while the folks at Contra stay on the right side of the law (albeit barely), they run far afoul of moral boundaries. They engage in incessant sexual banter, lewd behavior and off-color humor. They blurt out profanities, too.

Clearly, Breaking In isn't breaking any new ground. Beyond its questionable ethos, it's not as foul as many of the comedies surrounding it. So far. But does that mean you want these guys to sneak into your living room? They might not nip your silverware or ruin your credit rating, but they will certainly steal your time and give, in return, only a few lame chuckles.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Episode Reviews

BreakingIn: 4272011



Readability Age Range



Bret Harrison as Cameron Price; Odette Annable as Melanie Garcia; Alphonso McAuley as Calvin 'Cash' Sparks; Christian Slater as 'Oz' Osbourne; Trevor Moore as Josh Armstrong; Michael Rosenbaum as Dutch






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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