A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show takes an expansive view of sexuality -- it doesn't surprise anyone that both a husband and wife develop a sexual entanglement with an appealing man they both know. Though the show is set in a remote Texas city, the show generally resists the small-town mockery that's a common comedy trope. A strong female character is at the show's center, and men are depicted with unusual sensuality and sometimes even objectified in a way similar to how the women often are; whether that's a positive or negative message is up to the viewer.
Positive Role Models
Chris and Sylvere are rather unlikable, both a bit braggy, selfish, and self-important. As fish out of water, though, they're relatable, and the actors who play them are appealing enough to make them even lovable.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The show revolves around a married couple's sexual attraction to another man. There are graphic references to sexual acts and body parts, characters have sex with thrusting and groaning, men are shown nude from the rear, and sex is very frequently referred to.
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Lots of cursing and strong language: "hell," "s--t," "motherf--king," "f--k," "f--king," "sucks," graphic words for sexual acts and body parts.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character smokes pot out of a pipe and refers to a "wake and bake"; another character rolls and smokes his own cigarettes; adults drink wine at dinner (no one acts drunk).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Love Dick is a mature show about a husband and wife whose relationship is altered by their mutual romantic and professional entanglement with another man. The show's primary focus is sex and love; expect to see characters having sex with thrusting, groaning, sweating, and graphic talk. Men are shown nude from the rear; body parts and sexual practices are talked about frankly. Expect frequent cursing and strong language, including "hell," "s--t," "motherf--king," "f--k," "f--king," and "sucks." One character smokes pot from a pipe, adults drink wine at dinner and parties, and a main character habitually rolls and smokes his own cigarettes. This adult look at marriage, fine art, sex, and love won't interest young viewers, but it's also well-written and has an unusual focus on female desires, with women at the center of the action.
Is It Any Good?
Showrunner Jill Soloway has been vocal about her desire to invent a cinematic language for the "female gaze," and in this smart, subtle, sexy show, she's done it. Chris is messy, arrogant, and pretentious, as well as being fascinating, and erotically enraptured by her husband's new temporary boss in a way women are seldom allowed to be on-screen. Her very first encounter with Dick, in which he rides down the street in Marfa like some type of mythical cowboy, reduces her to stares and blushes, and by the time she's writing her first letter to Dick (excerpts of which open and close the show and are scattered randomly between vignettes), her fantasy vocabulary has expanded to forceful kisses and trysts in restaurant bathrooms.
It's not just the way Chris is depicted that's unusual, though. Soloway and her all-woman band of writers and directors also show Sylvere and Dick in an atypical light. The camera lingers on Dick's lean body; watching, Chris' mouth literally drops open. In contrast, Sylvere's shortcomings are quietly telegraphed -- his prissy suits, his snarky asides, the way he whoops with self-congratulatory pride after ending a sexual "drought" with his wife. I Love Dick is a show with things to say about what women want and what they accept; despite the title's focus on Dick, it's what Chris wants that's really what this series is interested in.
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.