Hello Ladies

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Hello Ladies TV Poster Image
Shallow protagonist hits the clubs to find love -- and sex.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series plays up the "game" aspect of dating and the empty relationships it can breed. On the plus side, Stuart's shallow tactics don't pay off.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stuart is superficial and shallow when it comes to the women he wants to hook up with -- and he's a terrible friend, too. His roommate, Jessica, doesn't fare much better, although she at least strives for self-betterment. More positive supporting characters include a self-assured ladies' man who just so happens to be in a wheelchair.

Violence
Sex

Although actual intercourse is left to the imagination, characters talk about sex and trade occasionally crude sexual banter (like "I'd so like to come on those t-ts.").

Language

Unbleeped swearing ranges from "f--k" to "c--k block."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking as it relates to the dating scene is a regular part of the plot. Characters occasionally drink to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hello Ladies centers on a socially awkward English transplant who's determined to live the Hollywood lifestyle and, hopefully, one day find love. However, to Stuart and his friends, that goal translates into regular social drinking in bars and clubs to pick up women and some occasionally crude sexual talk involving words like "c--k" and "t-ts." Although the self-absorbed Stuart makes a pretty terrible role model, his methods at least tend to result in his remaining alone.

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What's the story?

Lanky English Web designer Stuart Pritchard (Stephen Merchant) skipped across the pond to Los Angeles with dreams of landing a girlfriend with his go-to phrase, "Hello, ladies!" But he's been unlucky in love for two reasons: He's awkward, and he's kind of a jerk. Meanwhile, his struggling-actress roommate, Jessica (Christine Woods), takes pleasure in tormenting him while she works on writing and directing her own Web series...and on trying to stop sleeping with her agent.

Is it any good?

Thanks to the transformational success of their hit mockumentary series The Office and Extras, Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais are forever linked. So for Merchant, branching out on his own -- not only in his first starring role but without his longtime creative partner -- marks a big step toward his developing some professional autonomy. The result is awkwardly funny, much like Merchant, which stands to reason since much of the dialogue is based on his real-life experiences wading through (and towering above) the L.A. social scene. Still, it's tough to root for a main character whose heart always seems to be in the wrong place.

That said, you do end up hoping that Stuart will someday get a clue and realize that the real "Mrs. Right" could be right in front of him. Still, we can't see Jessica going for it -- and that would also mean the show would be over.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Hello Ladies' comedy style and what type of audience it's targeting. Is it more difficult for low-key comedies like this one to appeal to the masses?

  • How does Stuart measure up as a role model? Is he intentionally shallow and offensive, or do his social gaffes stem from self-absorption and general cluelessness?

  • How does Hello Ladies compare to the critically acclaimed series Merchant worked on with Gervais (The Office and Extras)? What are the downsides to being seen as the "other half" of a comedy writing duo?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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