A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Government work and politics is depicted as a game of one-upsmanship played by egotists. We see the mayor try to improve his relationship with his daughter, and we see her take his advice.
Positive Role Models
The show playfully takes jabs at various cultures and characters. No one is on their best behavior and many characters are self-serving, but there are positive family relationships.
Violence & Scariness
In the second episode the mayor (high from edibles) is paranoid of a costumed mascot, whom he fights and assaults with a recycling bin.
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Expect more double entrendres/sight gags than bad language -- in the first episode, for example, a proposed straw ban opens the door to a lot of "suck" lines; in the second episode we learn that the deputy mayor's pet project is called PPPORN (Private Plane Paths Over Residential Neighborhoods).
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Products & Purchases
The show's premise is that Bremer is a wealthy retired businessman. There are many references to his not needing to work. Early in the first episode he's advised to take off his watch: "An Audemars Piguet might be perceived as elitist," his aide says. "When exactly did elite become a bad word, Tommy?" the new mayor responds.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Much of the second episode relies on humor around the mayor eating a couple of potent edibles from a ribbon cutting at for "L.A.'s 10,000th dispensary." He encourages denizens to "buy drugs now!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mr. Mayor is a sitcom starring Ted Danson as a retired businessman who runs for mayor of Los Angeles as a way to impress his teen daughter. Created by the team behind 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the show has some edgy jokes and double entendres, but perhaps because of the teen main character, this outing is a bit tamer. Unlike Parks and Recreation, another political workplace sitcom, no characters here are motivated by the good of the city or its citizens -- they're depicted as either overly ambitious or comically bumbling.
Is It Any Good?
Anyone looking to fill the Good Place-sized hole in their hearts won't find a fit in Ted Danson's latest series, but it's still better than most network fare. Think of Mr. Mayor as a snarkier Spin City or a less warm-hearted Parks and Recreation. The series has a high joke density but few elicit more than a snicker, which is a pity considering the accomplished cast.
It may take a while for creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to acclimate to Mr. Mayor's L.A. setting after multiple New York-specific collaborations (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Great News). The jokes and characters about the other coast in the first two episodes feel cliched -- Danson's Mayor Neil Bremer takes edibles! His foil, Councilwoman and newly appointed Deputy Mayor Arpi Meskimen, is a strident ultraliberal! The counselor (Rachel Dratch) at teen daughter Orly's private girls school is a woo-woo hippie! -- but the writing could grow into the show's good bones.
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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.
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