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 although the majority of acts that appear on America's Got Talent are tame, a few include sexualized behavior, insensitive jokes, and other potentially offensive behaviors. Strong vocab ('hell," "Goddamn") is sometimes audible (occasional curses are "bleeped"), and snarky remarks are sometimes exchanged between rejected contestants and judges. Acts occasionally incorporate sharp objects, weapons, and other potentially harmful props. On rare occasions contestants get hurt when tricks go awry. Sponsor logos for products like Snapple are prominently visible.
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What's the story?
In NBC's reality competition series AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, aspiring performers duke it out on stage before three celebrity judges who will decide if they get to go on to the next round to compete for the chance to win $1 million. Performers attempt to impress by dancing, singing, playing instruments, and other creative performances. If the judges don't like what they see, they can hit an \"X\" button in front of them -- and once performers have racked up three Xs they're sent packing. But if they impress, they graduate to the next round. Throughout it all, the judges offer their criticism, and explain why they believe the contestant has/doesn't have the star quality they are looking for.
Is it any good?
Sound familiar? It should. That's because the show is an almost exact replica of Fox's American Idol -- no surprise, since it's produced by original Idol judge Simon Cowell, who over the years has lined up celebrity judges like David Hasselhoff, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osborne and even a surprisingly gentle Howard Stern to "yea" or "nay" each act's performance. Though the show plays out on a glitzy stage with sophisticated lighting, thanks to the wide variety (and quality) of the acts it often feels like a high-school talent show. But it has also evolved into a venue that allows for truly creative, inspirational performers that don't fit into conventional entertainment venues to shine.
It showcases lots of talent, but early elimination rounds sometimes feature acts that border on the ridiculous. But the judges treat everyone equally in their criticism, and everyone -- from the contestants to the audience to the judges (who, for the most part, are friendlier than those on Idol) -- seems to enjoy themselves. It's great fun for the family to enjoy together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes each of us uniquely talented. What would your kids' talent be if they were on the show? Why is it important to cultivate something we're good at?
Although no one wants to be a quitter, are there times when something isn't worth pursuing? How can you tell when that is?
Why do you think some contestants use their sexuality to appeal to judges and viewers?
For kids who love music
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