The Mentalist

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

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 24 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTitusaki February 16, 2014

Crime/Detective show

The reason why I say inappropriate for any kids 17 and under is because there is murder involved in the show. I don't think its good for any kids to wat... Continue reading
Adult Written byJared Galczynski May 21, 2014

AY, the one millionth MAYRA.

AY MAYRA. AY AY MAYRA. AY AY AY MAYRA. The Mentalist is one of the greatest shows I will ever see in my ENTIRE LIFE.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMillyMolly June 1, 2011

Amazing tv show

Great acting, good plots every time. There are scenes with violence, and blood, but it's amazing to see how he uncovers the scene.
Teen, 15 years old Written byp.s i luv tv August 20, 2011

overallview

The show the mentalist does not send out a positive message to people as it is mainly about murder and Jane's own private case of finding red John a serial... 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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