A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this envelope-pushing HBO drama contains graphic sexuality and nudity (including images of both male and female genitals, masturbation scenes, and much more) that may be too shocking for the average adult viewer -- which makes it an absolute no-no for kids. Since sex is an integral part of the plot, characters are shown talking about it -- or engaging in it -- in every episode. They also swear and do some social drinking, but you'll barely notice amid all of the naked bodies.
What's the story?
Using a handheld camera to capture the action with unflinching honesty, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME chronicles the sex lives of three couples at different points of the relationship spectrum. Jamie (Michelle Borth) and her fiancé, Hugo (Luke Farrell Kirby), have recently announced their engagement, but they don't live together yet; Carolyn (Sonya Walger) and Palek (Adam Scott) are married and childless, but they've been trying to conceive for a year; and Katie (Ally Walker) and Dave (Tim DeKay) have two children and a seemingly happy relationship, but they haven't had sex in ages. The show also offers a peek at the private life of the sex therapist (Jane Alexander) that the main characters have begun seeing for various reasons -- an older woman in her 60s who seems to have the healthiest relationship of the bunch.
Is it any good?
With no-holds-barred relationship drama TELL ME YOU LOVE ME, HBO is redefining what viewers are used to seeing on television and breaking new ground when it comes to sexual content. This isn't a show for the shy -- and it definitely isn't for kids. But it's also one of the most intriguing series to come to cable in a long time.
The most disarming aspect of Tell Me You Love Me isn't the unabashed display of graphic sex (although it's got that in spades). It's the fact that the lives of these characters are so frighteningly familiar that we can't help but see a little of ourselves. There's silence, there's subtext -- and there's truth between the lines.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why a show like this is off-limits for younger viewers but OK for adults to watch. What (or who) determines whether sexual acts shown on TV shows or in movies are considered graphic or pornographic? Do you think the show's producers wanted to create a program that titillates or educates -- or was a mixture of both? What messages does the show send about sex's role in a relationship?