A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series brings the pages of glossy, superficial teen magazines to life. Teen models -- the oldest is 21 -- live together without parental supervision (males in one apartment, females in another). Living and working together creates conflict, which is highlighted by the show. Photo shoots can be skimpy on clothing and sexually infused. Typical teen issues like body image, competition, and low self-esteem are prevalent, but little depth is accorded to these topics unless they relate directly to drama among the roommates.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MTV's reality show 8TH & OCEAN follows a group of teens and young adults trying to make a name for themselves in the modeling world. Ten young men and women live together in Miami's South Beach (one apartment per gender) and work as clients of the Irene Marie Agency. Adrian, Briana, Brit, Sean, Talesha, Teddy, Tracie, Vinci, and twins Sabrina and Kelly make up the gorgeous, multi-cultural cast of the show, which was created by the producers of Laguna Beach. But unlike the stars of its predecessor, which filmed the day-to-day life of growing up in a wealthy California suburb, the cast of 8th & Ocean has a common career path: modeling. The series focuses on the basics of the models' work life and their interactions at home -- getting to work on time, being selected for a job, going dancing, or fighting with a sibling.
Is it any good?
Even with the show's extensive access to the behind-the-scenes world of modeling, the producers fail to delve into the industry's real struggles, or even the internal torment of being good enough. The show misses an opportunity to take an in-depth look at a skin-deep industry, choosing to skim the surface instead. In typical MTV fashion, the editing is quick, facial expressions are used to interpret plot lines, the cast is beautiful, and the sandy beach backdrop would make any teen want to take off for the big city and try their hand at becoming a star. What little drama the show has feels forced and fabricated.
Meanwhile, the network maintains the upper hand through its familiarity with its audience's guilty pleasures and weaknesses, essentially taking the glossy pages of teen magazines and turning them into a reality show. Parents might want to take a look at some of the magazines aimed at this demographic, including Teen People and Seventeen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why teens are so interested in becoming models. What does it mean to be a model? Can you sympathize with any of the issues the models are facing? Are the conflicts between the sisters relatable? Is the lack of parental supervision realistic? What is a reality show like this communicating to younger teens and tweens?