TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Becoming TV Poster Image
Biographical show inspires with athletes' tales of success.

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Kids say

age 8+
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Educational Value

Kids see how applying yourself to improving your talents can pay off in the end. Although all the subjects are sports icons, the lessons about hard work and chasing dreams are applicable to any situation.  

Positive Messages

The series underscores the value of strong communities, friendship, a strong team mentality, integrity, and positive mentors in a person's success. Many of the subjects overcame difficult circumstances such as poverty to get where they are, thanks to perseverance and a positive attitude that kept their dreams in reach. The content touches on other serious issues such as single parenthood as they relate to the athletes' stories and were motivating factors in their success.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each subject's story is different, making them all positive role models for different reasons, but their successes always reflects determination and hard work. They also discuss how their own role models inspired them to achieve greatness. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The series devotes entire episodes to furthering the fame of its already familiar subjects, and merchandise such as jerseys and team gear is highly visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

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Kid, 9 years old May 5, 2020

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? 

  • How does Becoming promote integrity and perseverance? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Character Strengths

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