TV Rating: TV-14
Other Choices: A Beautiful Mind, Touch, Monk, Psych
Available On: Online
Common Sense Says: Drama series mixes bloody crimes and mental illness.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Perception is a crime drama that revolves around the problem-solving skills of a schizophrenic neuroscientist, and contains some graphic images of murder victims and blood wounds. The show contains some cursing ("bitch, "piss"; "s--t"), as well as some scenes with young women taking their shirts off and in sexy underwear.
- Families can talk about the way mental illness is depicted on television. Do you think this series offers an accurate portrayal of someone who is schizophrenic and not on medication?
- What kinds of stereotypes exist about mental illness and the mentally ill? How does the media perpetuate these generalizations?
What's the story?
PERCEPTION is a dramatic series starring Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a forensic neuroscientist who assists the FBI with solving crimes in between teaching at a Chicago university. When former student and colleague, Special Agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) hires him as a consultant, the eccentric Pierce uses his expertise in human behavior to help crack some of Chicago's most complex cases. But throughout the process he finds himself relying more and more on his schizophrenia-induced hallucinations for guidance. Sometimes his best friend Natalie Vincent (Kelly Rowan) helps him think his cases through, while others, like his teaching assistant Max Lewicki (Arjay Smith) and Dean Paul Haley (played by LeVar Burton) help him see the difference between reality, and what only he perceives as real.
Is it any good?
The dramatic series offers an interesting interpretation of what goes on in the mind of someone who relies on schizophrenic hallucinations to make sense of things that the conscious mind cannot decipher. It also offers some limited insight into how the mind works, and how we understand human behavior.It's not as edgy as some crime solving shows, and its focus on the challenges that come with living with a mental illness creates some sensitive moments. But the series also features plenty of sympathetic and lighthearted moments, too, thanks to Pierce's eccentric, but approachable, character. The interactions with his hallucinatory guides also make for some interesting moments. All in all, if you're looking for an entertaining crime drama, this one certainly fits the bill.
The Good Stuff
Messages: The series offers a dramatized view into the crime-solving world of a schizophrenic scientist. The main character often rants against consumerism and corporate greed.
Role Models: Pierce is schizophrenic, but not everyone he works with is aware of this and they sometimes make fun of his eccentricities.
What to watch out for
Violence People are shown striking out at people; the bloody injuries and images of murder victims are visible after the fact. People are shown going into convulsions and other medical emergencies.
Sex: Some strong sexual references, including discussion of inappropriate sexual relationships. Women are sometimes visible in skimpy underwear.
Language: Words like "hell," "bitch," "damn," "crap," and "s--t" are audible.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Prescription drugs are often discussed and/or are occasionally visible.