Tell Me You Love Me TV Poster Image

Tell Me You Love Me



Sex-focused show is shockingly real. Adults only.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters' motivations are complex -- and refreshingly real. Relationships aren't easy, and many characters struggle with them.

Not applicable

Almost constant, and extremely graphic for television -- pay cable or otherwise. Very little is left to the imagination: Viewers will see buttocks, breasts, testicles -- and even penises and vaginas. Characters are shown having sex and masturbating.


The word "f--k" (unbleeped) is used often as both a verb and an expletive.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are occasionally shown drinking in social settings.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Ally Walker, Jane Alexander, Tim DeKay
TV rating:TV-MA

This review of Tell Me You Love Me was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byyuri13 October 20, 2014
Some people here it's doing a review for the content and not the quality.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Written byAnonymous February 10, 2013

Not for kids.

Not for kids Hardcore Sex end of story.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent Written byJared Galczynski June 3, 2014

Tell Me You Hate Me

I don't think I saw Tell Me You Love Me, and I certainly didn't hear about sex on it. I think it's totally appropriate for our kids.


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