A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
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.
Positive Role Models
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.
Little diversity in the cast with only one character of color and no characters of differing sizes or abilities.
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Violence & Scariness
Some falls and other physical humor meant for laughs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.