What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mean-spirited reality show exploits the poor and unfortunate in search of laughs. Language can be strong ("ass" "hell" and "Jesus" as an exclamation), although the strongest words ("f--k" and "s--t") are bleeped. The show's mocking tone and its central concept, which is designed to take advantage of the needy, sets a bad example for kids.
What's the story?
The recession has left many people jobless and short on funds for critical bills such as car payments. REPO GAMES follows two repo men, Tom De Tone and Josh Lewis, and their crews as they attempt to repossess cars from desperate owners. As you might expect, the car owners are never happy to see the repo men, and are often outright hostile bordering on violent. However, these repo men come with a twist: If the owner of the car can answer three of five trivia questions, the owners will win the car outright -- no more payments and no more threat of repossession.
Is it any good?
Repo Games preys on people who are behind on their bills during difficult economic times by first attempting to repossess their cars, and then offering them the chance to "win" their own vehicle if they can answer some trivia questions. It attempts to create entertainment out of mocking the less fortunate for their inability to make car payments and backing them into a corner to participate in the trivia contest with questions of insignificant educational value (sample question: "Name Hugh Hefner's current fiancee").
Is it possible the "contestants" have squandered money, instead of simply not having enough of it to make car payments? Who knows? There is no context provided. Even if there were, it's hard to imagine feeling good about the disdain with which Repo Games treats the participants. The tone is superior and mocking. It's rare that a television series not only lacks redeeming value, but actively promotes a disturbing outlook on our culture. Repo Games is such a show. If teens do watch, parents might want to step in and start a conversation about the show's messages.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how the show perpetuates negative stereotypes. How does the show depict the poor?
Do you think the show's depiction of the car owners is fair to them? Why or why not? Does anyone "deserve" to be on a show like this?
Participants most likely signed consent forms in order to appear on the show. Why would people want to be on TV under these circumstances? How does editing and camera angles affect how the participants are depicted?