The Mysteries of Laura
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Throwback cop dramedy with some surprising sex, language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
"Can women have it all?" is the series' central question, but the answer is pretty unclear, with a strong leaning toward "no" ... particularly in the parenting department. Although Laura is holding her own in a male-dominated profession, the comedy is at times so broad that it borders on stereotyping.
Positive Role Models
Though she lacks some professional polish, Laura is good at her job and routinely outsmarts her superiors. Her success as a parent is less certain, however, based on her sons' unruly behavior and her iffy decisions to, say, dope them with cold medicine before an important preschool interview. The series also paints the only other woman on the force as Laura's enemy, reinforcing the tired stereotype that women don't work well together.
Violence & Scariness
The action centers around law enforcement. Expect gunplay and occasional shootings with gore, often treated in a comic fashion. A dead body is seen on a gurney.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild flirtation and some kissing, with occasional simulated sex that includes kissing and thrusting. Characters generally remain clothed.
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Gateway words such as "douche bag," "bitch," "ass," and "skank," plus sexually charged terms such as "diddling," "banging," and "suck it."
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Products & Purchases
Popular brand names such as Target are mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking, plus talk about drinking to alleviate stress. Some cases involve drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Mysteries of Laura is a dramedy about a mom who investigates homicides. Characters carry weapons, and, of course, there's murder, although blood is generally minimal. But there's also heavy use of gateway language such as "douche bag," "bitch," "ass," "suck it," and "banging" -- along with some brief simulated sex -- that makes it an iffy choice for younger teens. There's some social drinking, too, along with mentions of corporate brands such as Target.
Where to Watch
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The Mysteries of Laura
Based on 1 parent review
dont really get the bad reviews
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What's the Story?
In hour-long dramedy THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA, Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) is just about at her wits' end. Her demonic/lovable twin boys have just been kicked out of their private pre-K; her charming but irresponsible ex, Jake (Josh Lucas), only shows up when he feels like it; and her colleagues at work are giving her crap for not following regulation police procedures. It seems like only her gorgeous partner, Billy (Laz Alonzo), has her back. But even the NYPD isn't safe for this harried mom: It looks like Jake's going to be the new captain of her squad.
Is It Any Good?
Debra Messing, so adorably and effervescently charming in Will & Grace, hasn't lost her sparkle, and The Mysteries of Laura does have a glib, easy charm that fans of easygoing detective series such as The Mentalist and Murder, She Wrote will appreciate. Laura's lightness makes this show a throwback, and its case-of-the-week setup is familiar but not unappealingly so.
Nonetheless, Laura does hit some sour notes that may make it a bit harder for some viewers. It's nice that Laura Diamond is a powerful woman at work in a mostly male milieu. But did the only other woman at work have to be a rival, with the two frequently sniping at each other? In addition, It's creepy to let Laura disregard the law to the extent that she shoots a suspect's ear off rather than waiting for a hostage negotiator and threatens to bust a teacher for a marijuana possession rap if she doesn't get her an interview at a noted private school. If the show were more absurd, such hijinks would be easier to laugh off. But the show seems to want us to take Laura and her issues seriously yet regard her lapses under the law as no big deal, a tone as uneven as the laughs. On the plus side, Messing and Lucas have great chemistry, but the cases themselves aren't as compelling as they could be, and Laura's dramatic reveals smack more of Scooby-Doo than they probably should.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why the police procedural is such an enduring staple of television. Why do viewers like to watch crimes being committed and then solved?
How does The Mysteries of Laura compare to other series centered on women? Does the show challenge any existing stereotypes about working moms or women who work in law enforcement, or does it merely reinforce them? How does Laura rate as a role model?
Is the audience supposed to like Laura Diamond? How can you tell? How is she presented so that viewers will feel the way the show's creators want them to feel?
- Premiere date: September 17, 2014
- Cast: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, Laz Alonzo
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
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