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9 by Design
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 reality show -- which involves a set of working parents and their seven kids -- features a decent amount of bleeped swearing in moments of frustration (which appears in some episodes more than others) and audible language such as "damn," "hell" and "piss." The show also functions as an advertisement for the couple's top-dollar design firm, Sixx Design, and glamorizes city living in upscale digs that cost upwards of $15 million.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the reality series 9 BY DESIGN, New York City home designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz are pretty comfortable with chaos. After all, when the series begins they've already got six kids ranging in age from 11 to 3 months with another one on the way. And while some might consider them crazy, their risk-loving approach to work and family has paid off with a successful business and a rotating line-up of beautiful, well-designed homes that they live in for a short time before moving on to the next project. They crave a world that's constantly changing...and that's exactly what they've got.
Is it any good?
In the already-crowded realm of reality television, 9 by Design is Bravo's response to the families-with-multiples trend, and the Novogratzes prove fitting subjects -- particularly for style-conscious urban-dwellers who view the ever-expanding Duggar clan (of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting franchise) with a blend of alarm and bewilderment. Sure, all of the Duggar children's names start with the letter "J," but the Novogratzes have upped the ante by naming their kids Wolfgang (11), Bellamy (10), Tellulah (10), Breaker (8), Five (3), Holleder (3) and, most recently, Major (3 months).
Between multiple moves and new house projects, playdates, and delivering babies, there's rarely a dull moment here. But some of the best times are when the cameras stop to catch the kids in action. While a very pregnant Cortney is lifting wing chairs over her head, big sister Bellamy is playing diplomat over a bunk bed spat and middle kid Breaker is showing 3-year-old Holleder how to put his clothes away. No, the Novogratz family isn't "normal," but you get the sense that what they've got works.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism and how the series subtly (or not-so-subtly) promotes the couple's design business. Why would Robert and Cortney agree to open up their personal and professional lives to viewers at home? What do you think they're getting out of it?
Does the series come across as overly scripted, or relatively unplanned? How does that mirror the couple's design sensibility and their joint approach to parenting?
Do you think this is a good show for families to watch together? Why or why not?