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7 TV Shows That Don’t Give Mental Health Issues A Bad Name

7 TV Shows That Don’t Give Mental Health Issues A Bad Name

By Manasi Rawalgaonkar7 October, 2021 3 min read
7 TV Shows That Don’t Give Mental Health Issues A Bad Name

Gone are the days when discussing mental health issues publicly was not encouraged. In fact, many television shows and movies have been, and continue to be, instrumental in normalizing mental health awareness. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated globally on October 10, we’d like to doff our hat to these shows that have shed light on mental health issues in a relatable and responsible manner.

‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’

This critically acclaimed K-drama focuses on three diametrically different people who help each other heal emotionally. There’s Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun), who works as a caretaker at a psychiatric ward; his older brother Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se), an artist who has autism; and well-known children’s book writer Ko Moon-young (Seo Yea-ji) who has antisocial personality disorder. The show sensitively portrays a slew of mental health issues, and the New York Times named it one of the best international shows of 2020.
Director: Park Shin-woo
Cast: Kim Soo-hyun, Oh Jung-se, Seo Yea-ji, Park Gyu-young, Kim Joo-hun
Seasons: 1 (2020)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘This Is Us’

In its five-season run, this award-winning American family drama has highlighted various issues including panic attacks, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Creator: Dan Fogelman
Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley
Seasons: 5 (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

Rachel Bloom’s musical dramedy gave us a relatable and loveable lead in Rebecca Bunch (Bloom), an overachieving lawyer who moves from New York City to California to pursue an ex-boyfriend. Slowly, the series reveals Bunch’s struggle with depression and anxiety till she was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Creator: Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna
Cast: Rachel Bloom, Santino Fontana, Vincent Rodriguez III, Skylar Astin, Vella Lovell, Gabriella Ruiz
Seasons: 4 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘BoJack Horseman’

This popular animated series follows BoJack (Will Arnett), a washed up sitcom star who wants to return to Hollywood. Plagued by depression, BoJack tends to self-sabotage and is dependent on anti-depressants. The series not only gives a voice to his depression via hard-hitting internal monologues but also (literally) illustrates the effects of mental illness.
Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Cast: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F Tompkins, Aaron Paul
Seasons: 6 (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘Never Have I Ever’

One of our favourite teen comedies, this series (pictured above) follows Indian-American teen Devi Vishwakarma (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she juggles high school, academics, popularity, romance and her father’s untimely death. Sarcastic, opinionated and self-absorbed, Devi forms a close relationship with her therapist Dr Jaime Ryan (Niecy Nash), who helps her deal with her struggles.
Creator: Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison, John McEnroe, Ramona Young, Lee Rodriguez
Seasons: 2 (2020, 2021)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘One Day at a Time’

This American sitcom depicts the life of Cuban-American single mother Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) who lives in Los Angeles with her mother (Rita Moreno) and two children. Penelope is a United States Army Nurse Corps veteran, who is struggling with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) from her time in the army. Penelope’s storyline depicts the consequences of trying managing mental health without professional guidance.
Creator: Gloria Calderon Kellet, Mike Royce
Cast: Rita Moreno, Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz
Seasons: 3 (2017, 2018, 2019)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘Modern Love’

In the third episode of season one of Amazon Prime’s anthology ‘Modern Love’, we meet Anne Hathaway’s Lexi. She’s a glamorous, funny and charismatic attorney who manages to land a date within minutes in a supermarket. Later, we find out she’s hiding her bipolar disorder diagnosis from her friends and colleagues. The episode realistically captured Lexi powering through her manic highs and struggling with the dreary lows of depression, in a manner that incites empathy and understanding.
Creator: John Carney
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Kit Harrington, Sophie Okonedo, Anna Paquin,
Seasons: 2 (2019, 2021)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

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Tags: #BoJack Horseman #Modern Love #Never Have I Ever #World Mental Health Day
Manasi Rawalgaonkar
Written by

Manasi Rawalgaonkar

I work hard to give my cats a better life.

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