The Healing Powers of Dude

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Healing Powers of Dude TV Poster Image
Uneven comedy about anxiety encourages empathy, diversity.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Story exposes viewers to concept of social anxiety disorder in particular and mental health challenges in general, encouraging respect for diversity of ability as a result.

 

Positive Messages

Kids see some realities of social anxiety disorder from Noah's perspective, with effects that simulate panic symptoms like sweating excessively, sensations of sinking into the floor or having walls close in around him. This increases awareness and empathy related to anxiety and similar disorders. A supporting character is in a wheelchair. Noah's parents challenge traditional gender roles; his father was the one to homeschool him for several years.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Noah faces struggles doing everyday things that most people take for granted, and his resilience in doing so is admirable. When he opens himself to possibilities of friendship, he is rewarded by kindness, understanding. His parents sacrifice to support him in unique ways that help him solve problems at his pace and comfort level.

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but some scenes illustrate how panic attacks feel to Noah by showing him sinking into the floor, sweating profusely, and even being pressed by a mob of zombies.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Rarely "butt."

 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Healing Powers of Dude is a comedy series about a tween who manages his social anxiety disorder with the help of a support dog whose thoughts are audible to the audience. The story has obvious messages about extending kindness, respecting different abilities (both emotional and physical), and finding common ground with others. Noah's experiences also demonstrate both perseverance and courage, always excellent takeaways for kids. Several scenes attempt to show what his anxiety attacks feel like to him using images like zombies, and floors that suck him downward, which could be unsettling for sensitive viewers. With some guidance, this series can encourage greater awareness about and empathy for mental health issues like anxiety disorders and related conditions.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCaci C. January 28, 2020

Excellent family show!

This show is sweet and up lifting. It teaches empathy, empowerment, inclusion, kindness, courage, standing up for what right, and family values. It is a great... Continue reading
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byDawnp24 April 8, 2020

Dude can read Noah's mind !

I can't wait for the next season! I really like this show because I like how Dude is funny. I also like how Noah would imagines things that aren't t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymurdermystery August 25, 2020

"Really Amusing"

THE HEALING POWERS OF DUDE is an educational series and is about a kid with social anxiety disorder. Nothing bad here.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLavpraj August 14, 2020

Why It's Probably the Most Educational Series I've Ever Watched

Firstly, it is about a main character dealing with social anxiety. It's about adapting to change and overcoming your fears. Noah is the main character and... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE HEALING POWERS OF DUDE opens as 11-year-old Noah (Jace Chapman) faces the daunting task of starting public middle school after years of homeschooling to accommodate the challenges of his social anxiety disorder. After a series of mishaps, his caring parents secure for him an emotional support dog named Dude, to whose thoughts viewers are privy through internal monologues. Dude's presence helps Noah gather the confidence to navigate the ups and downs of middle school, tackling intimidating class projects, navigating crowded hallways, and even making two new friends in Amara (Sophie Kim) and Simon (Mauricio Lara).

Is it any good?

This hopeful series encourages awareness and understanding about what may be an unfamiliar condition in Noah's anxiety disorder. Because The Healing Powers of Dude tries to split time between the reality of Noah's struggles and the comical, often sarcastic opinions of his mutt companion, the overall presentation feels somewhat inconsistent. It's no Wonder, but there's slapstick, a goofy sidekick, a hapless principal, and many manners of tween foibles, as well as some exceedingly sympathetic moments in which Noah's anxiety threatens to swallow him up (literally, thanks to the show's visual effects that simulate his panic sensations). Both aspects of the story are worthwhile, but the constant shift from one to the other distracts rather than enhances the whole.

That said, the show clearly has merit, and it's always refreshing to see a show that makes an effort to promote diversity on the screen. Noah's condition is discussed at length, of course, but his friend Amara's physical disability (though visible) is not, nor is she hindered by it. Ultimately this speaks to the show's messages about choosing kindness, respecting diversity, and being confident in yourself regardless of what makes you different. And while the somewhat corny ruminating-dog shtick might be off-putting for adults who watch, it likely will help keep kids' interest in the show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Noah manages his condition at school and in public. What accommodations are made for him in The Healing Powers of Dude? How do his friends and family help? Does his ability to persevere inspire you?

  • Who surrounds Noah in his support system? What role do strangers play in that support system? How might you help people you meet even without knowing their particular needs and challenges? How does seeing diversity on the screen help us better recognize and respect it in our lives?

  • Is Dude effective as a support companion? How does his mere presence help Noah? Could the same be said for people, that just being with someone caring can have a positive impact?

TV details

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