Behind the Music TV Poster Image

Behind the Music

Guilty pleasure for adults and mature teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Behavior ranges from noble to criminal, depending on the subject. Sometimes celebrities brag about sexual behavior or drug/alcohol use, though the tone of the show is generally moralistic.


Guns, violent death, and physical abuse could be shown or discussed in documentary format.


Sexually suggestive behavior, barely clothed bodies, and sexual language are common.


Plenty of foul language in some episodes, though stronger words are bleeped.


Other than the celebrities themselves, products aren't actively marketed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Depends. Some profiles show drinking and smoking and discuss substance abuse and excessive use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary series focuses on the ups and downs of musical careers, and the downs can involve everything from depression to heroin addiction. Sexually suggestive images and adult language are common, but racy content depends largely on the person or group being profiled. While often informative, the show dwells on scandal and difficulty.

Kids say

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What's the story?

VH1's documentary series BEHIND THE MUSIC digs into pop music's closet to unearth the scandalous and the sublime. Each episode profiles a performer or group, charting their rise to fame and then dishing all the dirt -- from drug addiction to domestic abuse. Most episodes include interviews with the person or people being profiled, though some rely solely on interviews with friends and associates.

Is it any good?


The show profiles stars from every musical genre -- from country's Shania Twain (she grew up a poor orphan and raised her siblings alone) to hard rock's Ratt (drug abuse, groupies, and infighting ripped them apart) -- and there's something voyeuristically fun about the whole thing. A touch of moralism creeps in, too -- the message of the show sometimes seems to be that those who seek fame too vigorously or live life too hedonistically are sure to get their due.

How racy the show's material is depends on who's being profiled. The Ratt piece offers lots of scantily clad men and women, tons of drinking and discussion of drug use, and constantly bleeped language. But, as you can imagine, the Shania Twain episode is very different. Regardless of the subject, the show's goal is to present titillating material, so you're bound to run into something that some younger viewers may not be ready to see.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the phenomenon of celebrity and our culture's obsession with famous people. Why do we find the personal details of their lives so fascinating? Why are we so interested in their stories of adversity? Does anything you learn from the show change your feelings about the person or group being profiled? Does the downside of being famous outweigh the positive aspects?

TV details

Premiere date:August 17, 1997
Cast:Jim Forbes
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

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Adult Written bygrizmaster1981 January 6, 2012

Great documentry however some episodes maybe a little iffy for the little ones

This is a great educational show it it maybe a useful tool to teach those children who have visions of being a rockstar that the rock star lifestyle isn't at all what it's cracked up to be. Some of the episodes involving acts like 50 Cent, Motley Crue and other rap & metal acts wil probably contain some swearing and descriptions of sex, violence and drug use which may be too mature for most children. It is a good spring board into why or why your child should not pursue show business.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byLowe's man February 24, 2016

good cautionary tales

How much raciness and other adult material there is in this series depends on who is being discussed. Therefore, suitability for 12 and 13 year olds varies from one episode to the next. That said, this series discusses the ups and downs of fame and show business and does not hide or sanitize the dark sides. This series serves as a cautionary tale for teens of how not to behave and what to avoid. While these lessons are particularly useful for those who end up becoming famous, everyone, famous or not, will have something to learn from these stories.