A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Gratitude is the main theme of this series as people basically write thank-you letters to those who have touched their lives. Many of the icons as well as the letter writers display perseverance as they work to achieve goals and dreams.
Positive Role Models
Exceptional people from many fields (entertainment, science, sports, activism) are showcased, but the letter writers are often role models themselves. Over half of the icons are people of color, over half are female.
Some episodes feature profanity in context, including "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," while others have none.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dear ... is a documentary series that features American icons and the people who have sent them letters sharing what they mean to them. The featured people include entertainers like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Stevie Wonder, athletes Aly Raisman and Misty Copeland, and other legends like Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, and even Big Bird. Content varies from episode to episode. The Spike Lee episode features profanity; however, it's in the context of clips from his classic film Do the Right Thing. Words heard include "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," etc. Most episodes are suitable for families with younger kids and tweens, and the effect each icon has on the letter writers is moving and inspirational to watch. This series is exceptionally diverse in its choice of icons and those moved by their work. It's a great watch-together opportunity for families and offers many lovely lessons in gratitude and perseverance.
Is It Any Good?
This inspirational series uses a unique format to highlight how media figures, musicians, athletes, and other exceptional figures can touch the life of a "regular person." The short episodes of Dear ... are ideal for families with younger kids who are fans to watch together; often documentaries can be long and weighty, but these bite-sized explorations are just enough for a start. That also means that if someone is watching because they're a fan of Aly Raisman, there's time to check out an episode on someone they're less familiar with as well -- every one of the 10 episodes tells an incredible story.
From a woman of Indian descent writing to Big Bird thanking him for helping her feel more comfortable as a kid immigrant to Stevie Wonder helping a woman who is also blind, each episode packs in a ton of info, and usually lots of tears. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the letter writers' lives are "real" or if the scenes showing their lives are enhanced in some way (they are filmed almost too beautifully), but it's moving both to hear their stories of gratitude and to see that the icons themselves are also deeply moved by their impact and influence.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.