Here and Now

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Here and Now TV Poster Image
Edgy family drama from HBO rings false from the start.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The family means well with their progressive values, but it also appears performative, and the relationships are very dysfunctional. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the siblings have close relationships with each other.

 

Violence

In a dream, a woman claws her face leaving deep, bloody scratches.

 

Sex

Explicit sex scenes between straight and gay couples are shown, various sex acts are discussed, a sex toy is shown and explained in detail, a character frequents a prostitute. 

 

Language

Numerous variation of "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," "c--k," "blow job;" "a--hole," "bitch," "douche bag," "d--k."

 

Consumerism

Microsoft computers and Apple iPad devices clearly shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Here and Now is a mature drama from HBO depicting the messy lives of a modern dysfunctional family. The show contains marijuana and cocaine use, explicit sex scenes and many frank discussions about sex, mental illness, and racial identity. Mature teens looking to graduate from the feel-good quality of This Is Us to a more acerbic and sexually explicit narrative may be interested in this show. Explicit sex scenes between straight and gay couples are shown, various sex acts are discussed, and a sex toy is shown and explained in detail. Be warned that watching together with your kids may lead to an awkward viewing experience.

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What's the story?

In HERE AND NOW, depressed philosophy professor Greg (Tim Robbins) and controlling former therapist Audrey (Holly Hunter) are 60-ish baby boomers whose marriage has devolved into mutual contempt. Their four grown children -- Liberian-born Ashley (Jerrika Hinton), Vietnamese Duc (Raymond Lee), Colombian Ramon (Daniel Zovotto), and their biological daughter Kristin (Sosie Bacon) -- each have different issues with Mom and Dad. Kristin is tired of being the family’s "boring" child, while the others feel they've been paraded around their whole lives as symbols of their parents' progressive values. After a series of mysterious hallucinations plagues Ramon, and Audrey reveals secrets from her past, the family needs to redefine its existing relationships and move forward.

Is it any good?

A great cast is stalled by stilted dialogue and unfortunate characterizations in the latest from Six Feet Under and True Blood creator Alan Ball. On one hand, Here and Now looks like it wants to be an edgier version of This Is Us, with its roster of multicultural siblings and complex family issues. On the other hand, it seems like the creators don't trust that direction and introduce a metaphysical plot thread that feels out a place in an otherwise reality-bound story.

What's most unfortunate is the script. No character ever sounds like a real person. They proclaim and declare and punctuate, but never just speak to each other like humans. You can practically see the words on the page as the actors voice this unnatural, overly written dialogue. The script especially lets down Holly Hunter, who can be excellent portraying strong yet eccentric characters. Unfortunately, here she's asked to play a character so overbearing and petty that she practically comes across as a villain. It's a thankless, borderline sexist characterization. Hopefully, new layers will be uncovered as the show develops. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about diversity. What makes the family in Here and Nounique? What makes them the same? 

  • Audrey speaks very frankly with her children -- swearing, talking about drugs and sex -- even in casual conversations. Does your family talk like this? Do you think it's a good or bad idea? 

  • Do the characters talk and behave in realistic ways? What traits make the behavior seem real or false?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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