Parents' Guide to

Imaginary Mary

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sweet family comedy is marred by old-fashioned premise.

TV ABC Comedy 2017
Imaginary Mary Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 12+

Lacks humor

Not sure why ABC allowed this sitcom. I've given it a chance and honestly after tonight, I'm through. Don't think I laughed even once during the show. ABC usually crushes it's shows so this is very disappointing. Can't see it lasting beyond one season.
age 15+

Great show!

I love this show! It is so good to have actual comedy on TV. Between the dramas and reality shows this is a breath of fresh air! Keep this show going!!!

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (3):

Winning actors and decent gags give a bit of lift to this sweet-natured family comedy, but the "adult with an imaginary friend" storyline hasn't aged well. Movies like Harvey and Drop Dead Fred now seem like relics from a time when we didn't understand mental illness; now viewers may be weirded out instead of charmed by a woman who's seeing and hearing a fuzzy CGI creature (voiced by Rachel Dratch). Nonetheless, Imaginary Mary isn't without its charms. Elfman, given a character less daft to play than in her 1990s breakthrough Dharma & Greg, is smart and sympathetic, a woman who realizes Mary is voicing her emotional terror. She and Ben have real chemistry, too, and warm relationships with each of Ben's kids, particularly the straining-to-be-cool Adam.

But it's hard to see where the show will go, saddled as it is with an animated id. If Mary is Alice's needy and scared self, does that mean as Alice's need for her evaporates that Mary will, what, die? But if she doesn't, won't the idea of a character who sees and hears things that aren't there grow increasingly odd and unsettling? For a show clearly straining for ABC-family-comedy appeal, Mary's presence is a big problem.

TV Details

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