Presumed Innocent parents guide: Innocent children will not find this enjoyable

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an accused attorney in this adults-only viewing affair.
Presumed Innocent - credit: Apple TV+
Presumed Innocent - credit: Apple TV+ /

This latest Apple TV+ series is bringing Jake Gyllenhaal's award-winning acting chops to the small screen in the legal mystery thriller Presumed Innocent, which is available to stream right now. But is this for kids, who one would presume are innocent?

Presumed Innocent takes viewers through a horrific murder that shakes the foundations of the Chicago Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Attorney Rusty Sabich, played by the Golden Globe-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, is accused of the murder and spends his time in the series having to maintain his innocence as his family and marriage are on the brink. The series is based on the 1990 book-to-film adaptation of the same name which starred Harrison Ford and Glenn Close. The film was given an R rating so that should give you insight into who this series is for.

This series marks Gyllenhaal's first leading role in a television show, alongside Ruth Negga (Preacher) as his wife, Barbara Sabich, Bill Camp (American Rust) as Raymond Horgan, Elizabeth Marvel (Mrs. Davis) as Lorraine Horgan, Renate Reinsve as Carolyn Polhemus, Peter Sarsgaard (Dopesick)as Tommy Molto, O-T Fagbenle (Loot) as Nico Della Guardia, Chase Infiniti as Jaden Sabich, and Lily Rabe as Dr. Liz Rush. The show is produced by Apple Studios, Bad Robot, and David E. Kelley Productions.

Now that you have more background on the story, here's why it's best to not tune into Presumed Innocent if you're planning on wanting to watch it with the whole family.

Presumed Innocent parents guide: Explaining the TV-MA age rating

Presumed Innocent was given a TV-MA rating for "crude or indecent language, explicit sexual activity, graphic violence, nudity, and substance use." Judging from its rating, we can already let you know that young kids are not the target audience... And for good reason too. We have the rating breakdown for you below.

Sex & Nudity: Sex is central to the series. References to sex and infidelity and discussion of these topics make up a majority of the dialogue. The main character is accused of having an extramarital affair with his co-worker and a murder is implied to involve the rape of a woman. The murder itself is sexualized to the fullest extent. Nudity includes both male and female parts.

Violence: Presumed Innocent is wrought with violent moments. Pictures show bloody injuries. There are scenes that take place in a courtroom, and arguing and fighting are frequently seen. Young kids may not understand the references when it comes to legal terminology and the way the body of the deceased is described.

Language: Swearing is very present in this series. You will hear a bunch of uses of the "f" word, the "s" word, and the use of the "c" word. Other universally-known curse words are sprinkled throughout the different episodes, so be aware of that for both yourself and who you choose to watch the show with.

Drinking & Drugs: There's definitely some drinking and smoking in this series to be aware of but it's nothing that is overly offensive. Still, if that is something that would upset your young ones, it's good to know!

Overall verdict: What age is Presumed Innocent for?

Definitely don't allow your younger kids to watch this. It's technically appropriate for 17-year-olds and up, but even high schoolers might not be able to stomach this. Most parents would tell their kids to close their eyes and turn the other way since the show explores some very dark topics including sexual assault, politics, betrayal, and a skewed view of the justice system. If these are of any concern for you, then we would stay away from viewing this show. That being said, overall, if you are an adult who likes a good legal thriller with a lot of tension-building, this show could be worth watching... After the kids are put to bed.

The first two episodes of Presumed Innocent are on Apple TV+ today, with a weekly release schedule following the premiere.

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If you or someone you know needs to reach out about sexual abuse or assault, RAINN is available 24/7 at 800-656-HOPE (4673), or online at