What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, despite the presence of high-profile celebrity guests, the focus of this informative series about young community leaders from all over the world is really on the leaders' inspirational stories about helping people in the face of overwhelming challenges. It's worthwhile viewing for older tweens and up, but know that some episodes include discussions about violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other social problems. Occasional strong language (usually uttered by celebrities) is fully muted.
What's the story?
In 4REAL, celebrities travel around the world to meet young leaders who are dedicated to helping their communities. Accompanied by host Sol Guy, popular actors and musicians like Cameron Diaz, K'Naan, and Joaquin Phoenix visit countries like Peru, Kenya, Liberia, Brazil, and Canada -- as well as Native American reservations in the United States -- to meet the extraordinary people who face difficult (and often extremely dangerous) circumstances to deal with issues like poverty, environmentalism, alcohol and drug addiction, and lack of health care. The celebs offer their own thoughts and impressions as they take a first-hand look at the real lives of other cultures.
Is it any good?
4REAL is both upbeat and informative. It mixes reality and education by showing celebrities exploring important historical sites, participating in traditional events, and talking to locals about some of the issues impacting their communities. Meanwhile, community leaders take advantage of the welcome opportunity to show off the beauty of their homelands while bringing attention to the some of the very real problems their countries face.
But the show isn't all sunshine and rainbows -- it often deals with serious issues like drug and alcohol abuse and violence. And conversations about the dangers that some of the featured young people face on a daily basis as a result of their work can disturbing. But these discussions are offered as a way to enlighten viewers and inspire them into action. Most importantly, 4Real showcases exceptional young people from around the world who have chosen to make positive changes in their communities. It's a great viewing choice for mature tweens, teens, and even adults.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the media can bring attention to global social issues. How can a documentary series like this one help community leaders? Why is it important to highlight the efforts of communities all over the world? Does the presence of celebrities support or undermine the series' core message? Families can also discuss the different ways that people can contribute to their own communities. Are the people where you live facing specific social problems? What can people do to help?