As you may know, mental health and anxiety are topics I quite frequently discuss. And, ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’ is a must-watch for its lighthearted yet somewhat real portrayal of social-anxiety, particularly in the younger generation.
More than anything, I was glad to see Netflix streaming an original which focusses on mental-health without letting it play out in a dark or twisted way (like it did on 13 Reasons Why).
Plot of ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’:
This series, spanning across eight episodes, tells the story of 11-year-old Noah Ferris who is battling a social-anxiety disorder, which makes even the most simple tasks difficult…
Noah’s illness is so debilitating that he’s had to spend the years prior being homeschooled by his supportive parents.
In the first episode, Noah makes a brave decision to enrol into middle-school, and make friends with people who aren’t his family.
To help make school-life easier, Noah’s mum & dad get him an adorable emotional support dog called ‘Dude’ (hence the title: ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’) who – it’s clear from the start – has a larger than life personality! (Completely NOT a trait someone with social-anxiety would choose in another 😆)
Even though Dude has no experience in being an emotional support pet, he does have a short attention span which means he gets distracted by treats! 😂
Although Dude’s plans don’t always go to plan, he does succeed in giving Noah the courage to make friends with Simon (aka ‘Turbo’, another flamboyant character) and Amara.
The bond Noah and Dude have develops over time, and we finally start seeing Noah come out of his shell. 👏
Even though they have their fair share of fights, Dude sticks around through the highs & lows helping Noah face his fears, open up to his classmates about his disorder, and even bag himself a love interest, Valerie!
Basically: Dude is Noah’s wingpup, and I’m here for it! 🐶
My honest review of ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’:
Look, I’m not saying this show has the best acting I’ve ever seen, far from it, but at least the portrayal is somewhat relatable.
While I absolutely agree the special-effects seem exaggerated, what we have to remember is: it actually feels like this for people suffering with social-anxiety.
Now, the comedic spin of the show made it a little more lighthearted and family-friendly, something I kind of liked… Although, I do admit it is quite slapstick! 🙈
The main negative that I’ll pick up on is: from what I’ve heard, it’s not yet possible to take pets to school (or class) as emotional-support. So, that part’s definitely fabricated. Having said that, overall ‘The Healing Powers of Dude’ is definitely worth a watch.
Have you seen this Netflix original? What were your thoughts? Comment below… ☺️