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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Becoming is a biographical docuseries that profiles famous athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve success. The inspirational stories are pieced together from old video footage of momentous accomplishments and interviews with people who contributed to the subjects' careers, so viewers get a more personal glimpse of their roads to victory. The athletes talk a lot about the value of community support -- whether from family members, teams, or entire hometowns -- and of having positive role models. Despite the fact that the subjects' involvement in the project has an air of self-promotion to it, the show's strong messages about setting goals, working hard, and persevering are very worthwhile for kids.
What's the story?
NBA megastar LeBron James teams up with Disney XD and ESPN Films for BECOMING, a docuseries that spotlights inspirational professional athletes and chronicles their paths to success. Combining interviews with former teammates, coaches, and mentors, the show follows their progress from aspiring youngsters through triumphs and failures, victories and setbacks, to where they are today.
Is it any good?
This is a concise biographical series that gives sports fans of any age precisely what they want: More access to star athletes and new perspective on the more personal side of their success. It's obviously designed to paint the most positive possible picture of its subjects, which it sometimes accomplishes by glossing over controversial or less-than-flattering moments from the stars' pasts. Kids aren't likely to notice, of course, but adults will if they've followed the athletes' stories, and it raises that thorny issue of how a celebrity's public images compares to reality.
Even though the stars' involvement in this show is inherently self-promotional, the content does have merit for kids in particular, thanks to its focus on the roles communities, mentors, and hard work play in the subjects' success. These are all great messages to hear from the athletes, who now are the role models themselves and may be inspiring your own kids. Even those kids who aren't aspiring NBA players will get something positive out of these athletes' stories of perseverance, but Becoming is best enjoyed by those already enthralled by the featured icons.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about role models in Becoming. Why is it important to have them? What can we learn from seeing their success? Does someone have to be famous to be a role model?
Kids: Do you think this series (or any like it) paints an accurate picture of celebrities? How might the media distort the truth? Why might this be done, particularly in the case of famous athletes like these?
Do the subjects' stories inspire you to dream big? What are some of your goals? How can you work now for them in the future?
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