Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse TV Poster Image
Mock reality show plays up drama, pushes product tie-ins.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive Messages

Much infighting, especially between Raquelle and Barbie, and Ryan and Ken. Raquelle and Ryan sabotage Barbie and Ken, in an attempt to break up their relationship and in a quest for attention. Some characters -- especially Barbie and Ken -- are cast as naïve and superficial, as opposed to others' relative intelligence and common sense. Little diversity in the cast with only one character of color.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Barbie is kindhearted and generous, but her trusting nature causes her to overlook Raquelle's repeated attempt to upstage and sabotage her popularity and her relationships. Vanity runs rampant through the cast, and girls are often shown to be high-maintenance and demanding. Some supporting characters are more than pretty faces, but as the central figure, Barbie disappoints. 

Violence & Scariness

Some falls and other physical humor meant for laughs.  

Sexy Stuff

Lots of flirting and preening for the attention of the opposite sex. Men are shown without shirts, and women wear bathing suits around the pool. 

Language
Consumerism

The show is little more than a means to promote Barbie merchandise, from the many character dolls to the dreamhouse and its décor, and it has inspired a line of dolls based on the show's characters. The stories highlight the features of the accessories to make each seem vital to the overall collection in an obvious attempt at advertising.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is a CGI series featuring Barbie and an assortment of characters and accessories that can be found in stores, so commercialism is a big concern. The show parodies reality shows, so the fact that Barbie is materialistic and many of her costars show their abrasive sides at times is mined for drama. The characters are at times vain, selfish, hot-tempered, and manipulative, especially the vindictive Raquelle, who will stop at nothing to interfere with Barbie's popularity and her relationship with Ken. Though the content is mostly clean and fun for Barbie fans, this show offers viewers few likable role models and some troubling behavior you probably won't want your kids emulating. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytricky123 November 30, 2015

Poor quality

These characters are vapid, sarcastic and rude to each other. Shouldn't even be a kids' show! Reminds of a cartoon version of the Kardashians.
Parent of a 4 year old Written byErin W. April 26, 2017

Not what I want my daughter learning

This show is full of drama, materialism and consumerism. The characters value their stuff way too much, and the plot lines are usually centered around material... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byYellowLE April 17, 2016

Very Clever!

I love this show! I was very surprised when I read the other reviews on this site. The show is hilarious. Mattel is kind of making fun of it's self in cle... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPoppy.bath February 6, 2016

super funny

I love to watch this with my 16 year old sister! we both think its hilarious and so silly! we never played with the dolls but both love the movies and this show... Continue reading

What's the story?

BARBIE: LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE is set in Malibu, California, where Barbie Roberts (voiced by Kate Higgins) lives off the spoils of her lucrative career as a fashion icon. The dreamhouse is the posh heart of Barbie's social life, where friends are always welcome and her boyfriend, Ken (Sean Hankinson), is a fixture. But not everyone who frequents the place is a friend; her social rival, Raquelle (Haviland Stillwell), would love nothing more than to knock Barbie off her popularity pedestal and assume the place herself. With the help of her brother, Ryan (Charlie Bodin), who has his eye on Barbie, Raquelle sets out to sabotage Barbie and turn Ken's head her way. 

Is it any good?

This mock reality series is rife with stereotypes and overwhelmed by product placement, leaving little room for content that's good for the kids (and girls especially) who might watch. Fans of Barbie toys and other animated productions will want to see what this one's about, but between ditsy, hot-tempered, and vindictive characters and Barbie's excessive materialism, you couldn't hit a decent role model if you tossed a sparkly pink cell phone into a crowded convertible.

Life in the Dreamhouse's shtick is twofold: It pokes fun at reality TV with its own arguably comical grouping of divisive personalities, and it makes subliminal jokes about its own advertising agenda by writing silly plot lines that center on happenings such as the much-anticipated arrival of a pool slide. Unfortunately, the folks who can appreciate the self-deprecating nature of these qualities aren't the show's target demographic, and the kids it aims to draw will only see image after image of characters and objects whose replicas they can buy in stores. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how advertising works. Does watching this series make you want to own Barbie merchandise? Is it necessarily bad to be influenced by what you see on TV? What role do things play in overall happiness?

  • Kids: Do you know people who ever act like Raquelle? How do you deal with this kind of a negative presence in your life? Is Barbie aware of what Raquelle is trying to do? Is this kind of behavior always easy to spot? 

  • Compare the sibling relationships in this show. Do Raquelle and Ryan seem to like each other? How does each use the other for his or her own agenda? How does Barbie's relationship with her sisters differ?

TV details

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