A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Show has great respect for creativity in general and painting in particular; artwork is created slowly and painstakingly, and we hear about the artist's process and the value of expressing oneself creatively.
Positive Role Models
Lurie is idiosyncratic but has great love for his friends and family, respects himself and his work. His anecdotes often praise people he considers genuine. He has made an unusual life for himself that clearly pleases him.
Cursing and language includes "f--k," "f--king," "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
No one does drugs on-screen, but Lurie does relate a vivid anecdote about cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Painting with John is a reality show where actor/musician John Lurie creates watercolor paintings as he treats the audience to monologues about life. Lurie's memories are often thoughtful and humorous: We hear about how his parents nurtured his creativity, and his thoughts on what makes a genuine laugh and great laughs he's heard in his travels. They can also be iffy, like when he relates a vivid anecdote about a past cocaine binge. Cursing is infrequent: "f--k," "damn." Lurie lives a (self-described) hermit's life, but he seems pleased both with his life and with himself.
Is It Any Good?
As idiosyncratic and peculiarly amusing as its host, this odd artifact combines a painting show with a monologuist's ramble, to mostly entertaining results. The peak of John Lurie's unusual fame was the 1980s, when his turns in beloved movies like Stranger than Paradise and Down by Law made him a poster boy for the indie movie scene; he went on to lead avant-garde jazz ensemble the Lounge Lizards for decades, as well as to make the sublimely strange 1991 Bravo series Fishing with John, with surreal commentary and conversations over footage of Lurie out fishing with Hollywood friends like Dennis Hopper and Willem Dafoe. Painting with John is similar to, but not the same as, Lurie's earlier TV foray, because, as it turns out, watching someone create intricate watercolor paintings is a lot more interesting than watching guys with a line in a boat, and because Lurie has matured into an even more entertainingly weird guy since 1991.
He describes how his parents nurtured their children's creativity with an anecdote about his brother ruining an important employment connection by picking up the phone in the character of Mighty Mouse; he relates tales of former cocaine binges; he watches a sunset; he crashes a drone; he dips his brush into paint and lets it bleed down onto his canvas, saying "I just want people to know that none of my trees are happy. They're miserable." He talks about the different laughs he's heard, in Thailand, in Africa, in New York. It's all sort of slow and meandering, but beguiling all the same. Here is a man who has led an exceedingly interesting life, who regrets very little, and who spends most of his time creating: paintings, and now a TV show. What will he bring up next? You'll want to know, and we do, too.
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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.