A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Appreciate and be honest with the people in your life. Material success that's not accompanied by good relationships is hollow.
Positive Role Models
Toby Fleishman is a thoughtless jerk when we meet him, but he matures over the course of this series to become a more compassionate person. Parents care deeply about their children but make mistakes, such as Rachel does when she suffers a breakdown and temporarily abandons her children with no word.
Almost all characters are White and wealthy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Frequent sexual content includes nudity (we see bare breasts and a man's nude buttocks in a montage featuring the man having sex with different women over several nights), and graphic talk about group sex, masturbation, sexual acts, body parts, and more. There's also a scene in which characters joke around about women asking to be choked during sex and the possibility of choking them to unconsciousness.
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Language and cursing includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bitch," "assh--e."
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Products & Purchases
Characters have fancy cars, elegant clothing, big houses, and other trappings of wealth. One young character complains frequently about her family not having as much money as the children at her exclusive Upper East Side school.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink at gatherings and smoke cigars ostentatiously. Scenes take place in bars with people acting drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fleishman Is in Trouble is a dramedy about a divorced New York City couple going through a difficult time. Sexual content is frequent. We see couples having sex in many scenes, with nude breasts and buttocks, suggestive movements, and moans. A character has frequent consequence-free casual sex with women he doesn't care about emotionally; we don't hear much about how those women feel about it. Talk can be graphic, with dialogue about group sex, orgasms, body parts, masturbation, sexual acts, and more. Characters drink at bars and gatherings, sometimes to the point of sloppiness, and in a few scenes ostentatiously smoke cigars. Language includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bitch," and "assh--e." Characters say cruel things to each other, such as when a husband implies his ex-wife relegates child care to sitters. The trappings of wealth (designer clothing, fancy cars, big houses) are evident, and a middle school-age character complains frequently that her family isn't as wealthy as her peers'.
Is It Any Good?
Thinky, talky, and modern, this book-turned-limited-series examines the wreckage that love can leave in its wake and is by turns tragic, funny, and for some, unbearable. As a character, Toby Fleishman comes off as a fairly massive jerk, especially in the first episode, when we meet him post-marital breakup when a younger colleague has just suggested he try "the apps." As we've seen dramatized many times in films and movies, an awkward boy has grown into a solid 30-something citizen -- a doctor, no less -- and correspondingly finds himself drowning in attention from women, who we see illustrated in dating-profile-style photos that pop up around Toby as he scrolls on his phone, with female narrators cooing flirtatious one-liners at him. Flush with his new romantic success, Toby allows himself to grow smug and thoughtless, treating his dates like conquests instead of people.
The disappearance that upends what's left of his domestic life after his divorce also disrupts Toby's self-congratulatory sex spree, which leaves both this character and the show more relatably lost and confused. At the same time, the focus also widens a bit to include the personal life of Libby (Lizzy Caplan), Toby's longtime buddy, whose own personal crisis comes into sharper focus as she witnesses the changes to Toby's marriage and family life. Still, it can't be denied that this is a show about privileged White people struggling with emotional problems that may seem minor to viewers with greater ones and built around characters who are only fitfully sympathetic. Fleishman Is in Trouble is well-written, beautifully cast, and skillfully filmed; it's still not for everyone.
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.