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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages about creative problem-solving and caring for mental and physical health.
Positive Role Models
Subjects show curiosity, open-mindedness, compassion.
Focuses a lot on cultural history of psychedelics, offers glimpses into Native American and other cultures through that prism. Most experts interviewed are White men, but that may speak more to who's had the opportunity to experiment with psychedelic drugs in America without fear of significant repercussion.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence is lightly touched on but not shown. Some scenes replicate psychedelic experiences, which may be scary for some viewers.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
How to Change Your Mind is about the medicinal and psychological benefits of psychedelics, most of which are currently illegal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that How to Change Your Mind is a docuseries about the health and creative benefits of psychedelics. Each episode focuses on a different substance: LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, MDMA, and mescaline. Hosted by author Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and based on his book of the same name, the series explores the cultural histories of these psychedelics, why they may have negative connotations in American culture, and the ways they have been used scientifically, spiritually, and medically. There is some emphasis on the dangers of using psychedelics for purely recreational purposes, but that is mostly presented as a gray area.
Is It Any Good?
Michael Pollan's aim with this series is to reopen a discussion about psychedelics, which have mostly been stigmatized in American culture since the 1970s. How to Change Your Mind makes those arguments by examining the social and cultural history of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. It's notable that all of the featured advocates for psychedelics are also practitioners, which means that there's no strong counterargument presented for why psychedelics might be harmful, even in controlled environments. Otherwise, the series deftly weaves together science, American history, and the spiritual importance of psychedelics to some Native American tribes and other cultures, and presents it in a clear, accessible way, filtered through Pollan's own experiences and curiosity.
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.