Beauty and the Geek



Lessons for teens buried beneath a silly premise.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Girls portrayed as hot but dumb, guys are smart but geeky. Beyond the surface, however, contestants are accepting and learn from each other's differences.

Not applicable

Girls in bikinis, talk of sexual experience (or inexperience).

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the show plays on stereotypes -- the "beauties" are attractive young women who aren't very bright and the "geeks" are smart but unpolished guys with limited social skills. Contestants live in the same house, and share rooms, often with one bed. The beauties dress skimpily, and one episode featured a strip poker competition. Ultimately the beauties and geeks build friendships and respect for each other.

What's the story?

BEAUTY AND THE GEEK matches eight socially-challenged men with eight intellectually-challenged women. The pairs compete in challenges that test social, academic, and fashion skills. Geeks compete in karaoke or room-decorating challenges while beauties assemble a computer or engage in political debates.

Is it any good?


This "social experiment" is based on the stereotype that beautiful women lack smarts and intelligent men can't attract the opposite sex. But despite the silly premise, this reality show offers some surprising insights. The men and women genuinely learn lessons and skills from one another. They have conversations about social issues, what's acceptable in society, and why. Both the beauties and the geeks end up recognizing the value in their newfound-knowledge -- be it social or academic.

The conversations that ignite when contestants are sitting around the house are far more interesting than the challenges themselves, which involve contrived competitions that are meant to reinforce stereotypes -- is it supposed to be amusing that a beauty doesn't know who the vice president is? Still, it's refreshing to see these young people getting past their differences and sharing their strengths with each other. That said, Beauty and the Geek is still a reality show -- with tension and drama to keep the show edgy. Parents can watch with teens and talk about stereotypes and how they play into dating scenarios.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the stereotypes that serve as the show's premise. Are these stereotypes shattered or challenged? What values and lessons are learned? Would these contestants ever get to know each other if it wasn't for this show? Can people with such different interests find love?

TV details

Cast:Mike Richards, Nadia Dajani, Sam Horrigan
Networks:MTV, WB
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Beauty and the Geek was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 24, 2012

Good Reality Show

Awesome, but frequent sexual refrences dvd rating PG- Mild sexual refrences and mild language. A bit bad for young pepole
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byJennyK May 31, 2012

Only watch with kids if you know they will become attractive enough to not need college

It makes kids really not want to grow up to be a geek which is why I rated it not for kids. If noone wanted to be a geek than we wouldnt have any advances in technology and after a while america would become a third world country.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Beauty and the Geek is completely harmless.

Beauty and the Geek is okay for basically anybody. It's actually sort of educational. A series of really attractive girls who really don't have any smarts get a guy partner who is very smart but yet very unpopular. They have to go on challenges. For example, the girls have to learn about politics and comic books. The boys have to learn about celebrities and girls. One team (a boy and girl partnered together) will win a challenge and they get to pick two teams to up for elimination and they are asked a series of questions of what they have learned that week. The team with the least ammount of points is sent home. This show is a bit educational but very harmless. Parents shouldn't worry about it at all.


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