A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
As a realistic portrait of mental illness, trauma, and how people can learn to cope with it and improve their lives, this drama is top-notch. Themes of courage, communication, and self-control are prominent.
Positive Role Models
Marnie is a deeply involving character, one who's damaged and struggling, but who makes a bold choice to try to improve her situation and find happiness. She grows over the course of the series as she tries in different ways to overcome her intrusive thoughts and anxiety. She makes mistakes, but the show takes care to show her making amends, and trying hard to connect to others. The characters around her are realistic and engaging as well, including Marnie's roommate Shereen, who struggles with feelings of inadequacy, and Marnie's spurned love interest, Amber, who's tough on the outside but facing her own difficulties inside. The cast is diverse in terms of sexual identity, race, and ethnicity.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Marnie's mental illness is connected with sex: she has inappropriate and intrusive sexual thoughts that we see as images that can be quite disturbing, such as Marnie's mother kissing her passionately on the mouth, and her father performing oral sex on a friend. We don't see actual sexual acts but hear moaning noises, see flashes of nudity including male and female buttocks and a female breast, and see suggestive movements. We also see nudity in non-sexual contexts: a woman changes her bra, and there's a lot of sexual language (see "Language" section for details). Marnie is exploring both her inner life and her sexuality. Expect same- and opposite-sex kissing and sexuality, casual sex, visuals that suggest oral sex, and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Cursing is frequent and includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "tits," "p---y" (the female body part, used as a phrase that means getting sex), "twat" (in the English sense of being a jerk). There's a lot of sexual language too: "wank," "suck off," "finger bang," including verbal references to bestiality, group sex, incest, and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink at parties and at gatherings. Marnie has a tendency to use alcohol to gather courage, like when she guzzles vodka before going into a gay bar for the first time. We also see her vomiting after drinking alcohol and then mouthwash.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pure is a drama about a woman struggling with a distressing mental illness that's connected to sex. There's a lot of strong sexual content, but also impressive positive messages connected to courage, communication, self-control, and the value of working gradually to understand and cope with one's own limitations and strengths. Main character Marnie is seeking and finds professional, therapeutic, and other help for her problems while she is working towards creating a satisfying adult life with friends, a job, and a purpose. She sometimes stumbles and makes mistakes, but she makes amends and grows and improves over time. Sexual content is often connected with Marnie's mental illness; she sees flashes of people who are nude or involved in sex. We see breasts and buttocks, thrusting motions, people moaning, same- and opposite-sex kissing, and visual references to oral sex. There are also references in the dialogue to body parts, oral sex, group sex, bestiality, and other mature matters. Language includes "f--k," "f--ked," and "f--king," as well as "s--t," and words for sex and body parts: "tits," "p---y," "c--k," "wank," "finger bang." Characters drink at gatherings and clubs. One character often drinks as a way to gather courage. In one scene, we see her drinking mouthwash and vodka and then vomiting. The cast is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and sexual identity, and characters are realistic and relatable.
Is It Any Good?
Charly Chive is radiantly mesmerizing as a young woman with an unusual mental illness in this high-quality British import about intrusive thoughts and the havoc they can cause. Her condition sounds like a dirty joke, and Pure could have gone so, so wrong if it attempted to wring comedy out of her distress. Instead, Pure is on her side, and so are we, after we get a load of what Marnie's particular psyche does to her. Unable to relax in even typical situations, she's bedeviled both by her thoughts and by recriminations over the thoughts. What kind of person would think the things she does? She must be a perv, a loser, utterly unsalvageable; there's something wrong with her, and she can't even figure out what, much less how to handle it.
The scene in which a new pal nails down what's going on with Marnie is a tearjerker, plain and simple. Finally, with a name for her condition, she has hope. "There are millions of people as f--ked up as I am. I've finally found my community," she thinks to herself joyfully. And it's true: this is a turning point in which she can begin to understand why her mind works as it does, and begin to shift both her thoughts and her perspective to ease her pain. It's a slow process, and it might be painful to watch if Pure focused solely on Marnie's mental strife. Instead, we also see Marnie as a whole person: new to a city, casting about for a career and friends and a purpose. It's funny, and it's sad, and you'll want to watch every beat of her story, which is tortured and difficult, but as we see, rather ordinary all the same.
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.