What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mind Games is an adult-oriented drama without much iffy content, though young viewers will probably be bored to tears by the show, which features lots of people sitting in different rooms talking strategy. The only aspect that may give parents pause is that the characters are not above deception to get what they want. Explain to kids that the ends don't always justify the means, even though that's what this show seems to imply.
What's the story?
In the hour-long drama MIND GAMES, Clark Edwards (Steve Zahn) was headed for a brilliant academic career until his unmedicated bipolar disorder, and a penchant for a female undergrad, got him fired. His brother, Ross Edwards (Christian Slater), was holding down his own brilliant career in finance before he was convicted for fraud and spent two years in prison. The brothers are down but definitely not out, since they've concocted a scheme to use Clark's psychological and motivational expertise to influence the decisions of others on behalf of their clients. It's a crazy idea, and the volatile relationship between the brothers injects its own drama, as Ross tries to keep Clark from going off the rails, and Clark battles Ross' more sociopathic tendencies. But despite their many, many flaws, Clark and Ross find they have a way to use their talents: for good, at last.
Is it any good?
The idea of quirky characters using (pseudo?) science to win the day is a good one. Perhaps that's why while watching Mind Games you'll get the feeling you've seen all this before, on shows such as House or Lie to Me. There's a client of the week with a knotty problem: It's too much! The Mind Games Scooby gang can't do it! But wait, they could try this one crazy thing...but it couldn't possibly work! But, at the last minute, it does!
Sigh, ho-hum. Such are the highly visible cogs and gears of substandard drama. It's a pity, because Zahn and Slater are genuine movie stars, crackling with personality and energy and giving their all. If only the whole shebang were staged and written with more freshness. As it is, it feels predictable.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about TV show tropes. Shows in which a pair of quirky characters go into business together have long been popular on television. Why is the buddy formula such a popular one? Is it restricted to male-only buddies?
Are audiences supposed to like the characters on this show? How can you tell? Are they presented as being good characters or bad ones? What's the difference?
Could the plot of Mind Games work in any other milieu? Could the Mind Games team be spies? Doctors? A crew aboard a space ship? Why, or why not?