The Mentalist

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Mentalist TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Mature crime drama with unique premise and lots of violence.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Focuses on solving crimes. Discredits the work of psychics and others who claim paranormal abilities by showing how they "trick" people. Occasionally discusses the existence of God, the afterlife, and other spiritual issues.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jane seems self-absorbed and doesn't always follow the rules, but is very committed to solving crimes and helping people. The CBI team consists of both men and women; limited racial/ethnic diversity in the cast.

Violence

Shows people getting shot and killed at point-blank range; bloody bullet holes are clearly visible. Also includes images of people who've been violently assaulted and bludgeoned to death and frequent discussions about serial killings and other violent behavior.

Sex

Some strong sexual discussions, including references to sadomasochism.

Language

Language includes "bitch," "hell," "jackass," and "bastard." Crude words like "banging" and "screw" are sometimes used to describe sexual acts.

Consumerism

Occasionally logos like United Airlines and iconic Sacramento haunts are visible in the background.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol and prescription pills are occasionally visible. Storylines occasionally deal with drug-related issues.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crime series has scenes of bloody violence, including images of people getting stunned, shot, and bludgeoned to death, as well as things like symbols painted on walls in blood. Characters also frequently discuss grim topics like serial killings and other violent behavior. Expect plenty of strong language ("bitch," "hell," "bastard") and some strong sexual discussion, as well as some drinking.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCvhol April 7, 2020

Good but...

Good start but cliche hook up! Disappointed writers had to go there with Jane and Lisbon.
Adult Written byA B May 26, 2017
Kid, 12 years old November 29, 2011

The Mentalist 101

The Menatlist is an amazing show! If you're the kind of person who likes mysteries and instense moments, you'll definetly love this show! There is som... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byBladea April 4, 2020

One of the greatest shows I ever watched !

Along with House MD, The Big Bang Theory, Top Gear and Lie to me, The Mentalist is probably my favorite. The story is 5/5 stars, characters are often too impuls... Continue reading

What's the story?

Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is a former self-proclaimed medium who now uses his sharp observation skills to help a team of agents from the fictitious California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) solve serious crimes in Sacramento. The one-time celeb -- who now claims to have faked his paranormal abilities -- impresses agents like Kimball Cho (Tim Kang), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman), and rookie Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) with his charming, rather theatrical ability to solve high-profile cases. But his unorthodox approach and often reckless disregard for the rules doesn't sit well with Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney). And throughout it all, the seemingly self-absorbed Jane must find a way to cope with his own tragic past.

Is it any good?

Like most other crime dramas, THE MENTALIST spends a lot of time discussing the particulars of unsolved cases. Early seasons of the show also focus on disproving the existence of the paranormal, which sometimes lead to debates about the existence of God, an afterlife, and other spiritually-oriented topics. However, later episodes move beyond this, relying on Jane's keen understanding of human behavior to help each story unfold.

It isn't the best written show, but its unique premise, coupled with some interesting cases and Jane's trademark dry humor is what makes this series successful. But it is also quite violent and has generally mature content. Older teens and adults who like this kind of show may find the characters and subject matter compelling, but it's definitely not for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the show portrays psychics. How have other TV series (both dramas and reality shows) and movies depicted them? Do you think real-life psychics fill similar roles solving crimes? Also, do you think well-known real-life psychics have paranormal gifts, or are they just good observers or magicians?

  • Is this crime drama any different from others? What does it do better or worse than the others? Why do you think people enjoy watching crime stories?

TV details

For kids who love drama

Our editors recommend

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