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 this sitcom is about a flawed psychotherapist and his patients, including a young man who attempted suicide and a needy woman who gets too attached to men. The patients' issues (and treatment) form the foundation of each episode and lead to situations and plotlines that aren't always a good fit for young viewers. For example, when the doctor asks his patients to make a connection with someone, one woman jumps into bed with a fellow patient.
What's the story?
In the sitcom HELP ME HELP YOU, five eccentric people seek help from a respected therapist with many problems of his own. Ted Danson stars as Dr. Bill Hoffman, a successful therapist and author who's dealing with the end of his 25-year marriage to Anne (Jane Kaczmarek). By day, Hoffman works with the clients in his group therapy sessions -- including Dave (Charlie Finn), who attempted suicide by jumping out a window; Jonathan (Jim Rash), a possibly gay metrosexual; Inger (Suzy Nakamura), a lonely self-made millionaire; clingy Darlene (Darlene Hunt); and Michael (Jere Burns), who has anger issues. By night, Hoffman deals with the demise of his marriage.
Is it any good?
Adult viewers will likely find the scenarios in Help Me Help You entertaining and relatable. In one episode, for example, Dr. Hoffman arranges to meet his college-age daughter, Sasha (Lindsay Sloane), and her new boyfriend; when he discovers that the beau is Sasha's psychology professor, he insists that she's dating him as a replacement for her father. Hoffman later drinks too much and accidentally end ups back at home, where he climbs into bed with Anne and her new boyfriend. And the next day, he replaces his sturdy station wagon with a swanky new sports car. But Help Me Help You's laughs are decidedly of the adult variety -- a lot of the humor might go over kids' head, and the stuff that doesn't is probably too edgy for everyone except older teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people seek therapy. What is its purpose? How does it work? What do people discuss when they're seeing a therapist? What are the advantages and disadvantages of group sessions vs. one-on-one appointments? Is it realistic to expect a fellow human being with his or her own share of problems to help other people sort their lives out? How can therapists stay objective?
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