The show represents a turning point in how the media presents female characters, centering on a liberated thirtysomething career woman who isn't looking to be someone's wife. Her surrounding characters treat her with varying levels of respect based on their opinions about women in the workplace, but she wins them over with her aptitude for the job and her kindness. Over the course of its seven-year run, the show addressed serious issues like divorce, death, addiction, infidelity, and discrimination, all in a thoughtful (but ultimately humorous) manner. Themes include compassion, integrity, and perseverance.
Innuendo and double entendres are as racy as the content gets. Several characters' sexual escapades are implied, but nothing beyond kissing is shown onscreen. Men comment on women's figures in terms that would be unacceptable in the modern workplace, as when Mary's boss tells her that she has "a great caboose."
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mixed drinks and liquor are present in most social gatherings and in the workplace, where the boss keeps a stash in his desk drawer. Some characters show signs of overindulgence (hangovers, drunken slurred speech, etc.). The issue of addiction arises in an episode that shows Mary overcoming her dependence on sleeping pills.