Blow Out

TV review by
Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media
Blow Out TV Poster Image
Reality show's ego needs a trim, but OK for teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Egotistical star Jonathan throws occasional temper tantrums, cries, and has the camera document everything in his tumultuous personal life (therapy sessions, phone conversations, business meetings).

Violence
Sex
Language

Four-letter words are bleeped out -- and there are a lot of bleeps.

Consumerism

Jonathan Product has been created throughout the series and is for sale; cross-promotion with other sponsors (American Express, Lens Crafters, Revlon, Sprint, Bacardi Limon) is inserted into the show; Jonathan's sister owns The Pussycat Dolls (a Vegas act), who are often featured; Jonathan is often hired as a stylist for ad campaigns, which leads to heavy hype of the product itself.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking, occasional drinking, Jonathan is the hair stylist for the Bacardi Limon ad campaign.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series is definitely geared toward adults. With its relatively low profile, it's unlikely to be too popular among most teens. But for those interested in the business of hair products, hair styling, or ego-driven reality TV, the show is sure to have a strong appeal. Because of that, parents need to be aware that the star is a selfish egomaniac with few admirable traits; this is train-wreck TV at its finest.

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What's the story?

Bravo's BLOW OUT follows famed hairstylist Jonathan Antin's professional and personal life as he progresses into this millennium's Paul Mitchell. Key members of his staff are also introduced, as well as the occasional issues they run into: needing a new shampoo assistant, wanting to go with Jonathan on his side jobs (photo shoots, runway shows, visits to celebrity clients). The show is at the top of the list when it comes to guilty-pleasure television. Antin has opened three salons, started a successful product line, and had a son since the series started in 2004, but at this point, his ego should have its own line in the opening credits; his over-the-top persona never disappoints, though one would hope it gets a break when the cameras are off.

Is it any good?

Ultimately, Jonathan acts as if he is at the center of the universe. He claims to carry the "burdens" of success, family, and friends, and cries at the drop of a hat when he's overwhelmed -- crocodile tears for the camera, perhaps? Thanks to his passive-aggressive nature, one minute he'll be putting down associates and business partners in meetings or on the salon's floor, only to kiss the same people goodbye and apologize for how busy he is the next. This behavior only underscores his overblown self-importance.

Can't-look-away car-crash behavior aside, Jonathan's products and successful salons speak volumes about his ability to win over clients -- and viewers. At $500 a haircut, and with a growing list of celebrity clients, who wouldn't want to watch? Bottom line: When watched with the right perspective, Blow Out is a good lesson in learning not to take yourself too seriously.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how a person behaves when thrust into the celebrity spotlight. Does reality TV make a self-centered man, or does the self-centered man make reality TV? Does finding fame give anyone the right to be rude or selfish? Is there any part of the show that teens find inspiring?

TV details

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