Start-Ups: Silicon Valley

Common Sense Media says

Glamorized workplace reality with catty drama, drinking.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's some focus on becoming a successful entrepreneur and creating something innovative, but getting rich and living a high-end lifestyle are the major themes here.

Positive role models

Most of the cast appears driven by the desire to make lots of money and live a high-end lifestyle. They appear to value the superficial and some come off as arrogant.

Violence

Arguments and snarky catfights break out between the cast, sometimes leading to tossing beverages in people's faces. One cast member accuses a former friend of assaulting her.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo and references to having sex. Men and women appear in skimpy underwear and revealing bikinis. Nerds and geeks are referred to as "sexy."

Language

Words like "pissed", "Goddamn" and "bitch" are audible; curses like "ass," "s--t,"  and "f--k," are bleeped. Rude hand gestures are visible, too.

Consumerism

Logos for Apple are frequently visible. Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Ignite, Ampush Media, Carsabi, Goal Sponsors, and online programs like Pop17.com are continuously discussed. The Four Seasons Palo Alto and other San Francisco Bay Area haunts are visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Champagne, wine, cocktails, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are frequently consumed at dinners, parties, and corporate events.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Startups: Silicon Valley features young entrepreneurs trying to make it big in the San Francisco tech industry while appearing to live a glamorous lifestyle. Like many series of these kind, much of the focus is on the personal conflicts between cast members, and episodes feature lots of drinking, swearing, sexual innuendo (including people in skimpy underwear and bikinis), and catty arguing. It also features lots of references to Twitter, Facebook, and other online sites.

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What's the story?

Produced by Randi Zuckerberg, sister of the Facebook founder, STARTUPS: SILICON VALLEY features six entrepreneurs who are trying come up with the next big Internet start up company. The series stars brother and sister Ben and Hermione Way, co-founders of company called Ignite; computer programmer Dwight Crow, founder of the online car search program Carsabi; and David Murray, the founder of a startup called Goal Sponsors. Also part of the gang is Sarah Austin, who works in online advertising, and Kim Taylor, a local Silicon Valley resident and online host who knows how to network her away around the tech community. In-between trying to get investors to help them launch their businesses, creating apps, and hosting online shows, each member of the group finds her/himself socializing with and competing against one another in the high-tech world of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Startups underscores the need for connections, investors, and tech savviness in order to have a successful startup Internet company. But like most Bravo reality series, much of the show's focus is on the cast's complicated interpersonal relationships and their efforts to live upscale lifestyles. The fact that their business ventures are fueled by their desire to make money and a big name for themselves in the competitive tech industry also adds to the drama.

If you are looking for something that reveals what it is really like to successfully build and launch an Internet startup, you won't find it here. But folks unfamiliar with the culture associated with the Silicon Valley tech world may find it interesting, if unrealistic. Meanwhile, if you're looking for a voyeuristic guilty pleasure, you will probably find it worth watching, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how realistic this series is. Do you think most people in Silicon Valley are as good looking as those on this show? Do you see enough actual work taking place to make these stories believable? Is living and working in Silicon Valley as glamorous as this reality show makes it out to be?

  • What are some of the stereotypes some folks have about people who work in computer and Internet industry? Where do these generalizations come from? Does this series reinforce or reject these stereotypes?

TV details

Cast:Ben Way, Hermione Way, Kim Taylor
Network:Bravo
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Start-Ups: Silicon Valley was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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