A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, aside from a few semi-steamy scenes involving adults in the throes of implied passion, there's no reason families can't watch this show together. The overarching message of helping others is a positive one, and the language is surprisingly clean. The main character also proves a worthy role model as he navigates his newfound role of once-sharky lawyer turned do-gooder.
What's the story?
Ladder-climbing corporate lawyer ELI STONE (Jonny Lee Miller) is jolted into a strange new world that nobody else can see when he starts having visions involving pop star George Michael. His neurosurgeon brother (Matt Letsher) blames an inoperable brain aneurysm. But after consulting a Chinese acupuncturist (James Saito), Eli slowly begins to suspect that he might, in fact, be a modern-day prophet. To make the voices in his head stop screaming, Eli must use his legal prowess to solve other people's problems -- in essence, to do God's work.
Is it any good?
Thanks to an original premise, over-the-top special effects, and elaborate song-and-dance sequences (some of which are actually cringe-worthy), Eli Stone is the kind of series with the potential to develop a cult following. But it's also a drama with comic aspirations that fall a bit flat.
It's not that Miller isn't a likeable lead (his mix of charm and bewilderment is perfect) or that the comedy isn't clever (the revelation that Eli's sage acupuncturist, Dr. Chen, is actually a regular guy named Frank Niebowkowski is genius). It's just that, for some, the series as a whole might try a little too hard to be cute. It's also puzzling that Michael's music features prominently -- almost as puzzling as the idea that he could help sell the series in the first place.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether a person who claimed to be getting messages from a higher power in real life would be taken seriously or considered seriously disturbed. If you were in Eli's position, would you risk your career to help other people? Is it possible to put other people's interests ahead of your own and still have a successful career, or do you have to choose one path or the other? Do you need to be prompted by visions to help others? What are some simple ways to positively affect the lives of those around you?