Parents' Guide to

Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Lovely, languorous series examines life's big questions.

TV Max Comedy 2020
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As an exercise in grappling with life's momentous questions, this series is sweet and relatable, as well as deliberately paced and indulgently contemplative. At 41, Patel is at a classic age for questioning both himself and the notions he's always held dear (the concept of a midlife crisis didn't come out of nowhere). In Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness, he poses his queries and worries in a disarmingly straightforward fashion, looking right into the camera to address all the people in TV land. It's an effective gambit. After all, most of us worry about losing our aging parents, about guiding our children to independence without overstepping, about the bite that our jobs take out of our lives.

Pondering takes us to interesting places: to Mexico, where a crowd of thrifty expatriates have found a festive cut-price retirement; to Japan, where parents encourage their children to care for themselves in ways that seem unimaginably risky to Americans; to Denmark, where a rising wave of immigration has created new social challenges. He meets people who live in the places he visits, he eats, he drinks, they all talk. Assumptions are examined, traditions discussed. And it's lovely, albeit talky and slow. Patel is full of questions. The answers are slower in coming, but the contemplation itself is worthwhile, and holds subtle, nuanced pleasures for viewers taking a good hard look at their own lives.

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