Inarguably, the true representation of mental health can have a strong impact on the general viewers. It shapes the mind and makes the audience look at it the same way. In recent years, this subject has been addressed by multiple production houses and studios. Mental health, however, has always remained quite a sensitive topic, not only in the depiction but the execution as well.
A production house, big or small, cannot afford to take a single wrong step toward it. The society we live in has progressively been becoming more aware of such subjects and the art of creating entertainment around such topics can very easily go either way – failure or a hit. Of course, it all comes down to how the whole team of production has tackled it.
Therefore, if you are planning to educate yourself on such a subject, then you probably want to get the right picture of it. This is why after the research long hours, we have put together some shows that represent mental health fairly well.
With that being said, let us look at some of the famous shows with a true representation of mental health in every sense of it.
- This Is Us (2016 – 22)
This Is Us takes you on a roller coaster ride with Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown), who comes across several hardships throughout his life. This results in him battling with anxiety for the better part of his life.
Everything that Randall goes through, ends up hitting him hard in the form of mental health. As the responsible one amongst all his siblings and probably the one with the most humanistic nature, Randall tends to take every trauma upon himself, not to mention the very fact that he grew up in a family where everyone was white except him, leaving him questioning the whereabouts of his birth parents.
Ultimately, Randall’s wife encourages him to enlist support to handle his anxiety. The show enlightens the viewers regarding the very values of therapies and their effects of it.
- Big Little Lies (2017 – 2019)
Big Little Lies is based on the novel of the same name, written by Liane Moriarty. The show tells the emotional, inspiring, and heart-touching journey of five women.
Big Little Lies is narrated retrospectively and gives you an insight into the lives of all the five main characters so that we can learn about the events that truly shape their personality and life choices.
The show brilliantly deals with some of the most sensitive yet prevalent topics of our society such as domestic violence, abuse, trauma, PTSD, amnesia, social withdrawal and isolation, and indirect aggression.
Each cast member does justice with their character and brings you the performance of a lifetime without making any of it seem offensive or falsely depicted.
- Black-ish (2014 – 2022)
You don’t typically get to see the true representation of mental health in comedy dramas and that too when it comes to postpartum depression (PPD).
Even in this age when you absolutely cannot brush a serious and quite prevalent subject like this, unfortunately, you rarely get to see it represented correctly in the media.
However, Black-ish does a phenomenal job with it by giving us a correct picture of what it looks like through the lens of Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross). The whole episode regarding PPD was aired on World Mental Health Day. The goal was to spread awareness about it and needless to say, the show successfully managed to achieve that goal.
The show discusses the topic in a way that it should have been a long time ago. It also addresses the common misconception that only because a woman has seemingly got everything together, does not mean that she cannot deal with PPD while also being a good mother.
- The Queen’s Gambit (2020)
Set in the 1950s, The Queen’s Gambit tells the story of chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). The show is based on a novel by Walter Tavis and it does a great job of spreading awareness regarding a lot of important topics.
Beth has always wanted to be the world’s best chess player, however, as you start walking through her journey, you get an insight into the underlying subjects that point towards her childhood trauma that later shapes her entire personality.
The show also paints a pretty good picture of her struggle with substance and alcohol abuse. Moreover, It explores Beth’s struggles with social withdrawal, isolation, and denial of intimate relationships.
It is not every day that you can find an accurate representation of mental illness on television screens. Media tends to show people with mental illnesses as a “danger to society”, although wrongfully so. It is quite important to understand and empathize with mental illness in the most humanizing way and to see the struggles in the light of the right representation.
Therefore, we have mentioned the above titles in the article for you to learn more about different mental health issues and how to approach them. The goal of this article is to spread awareness because mental health is as important as physical health.