A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, although this reality series spin-off will likely appeal to high school-aged fans of The Hills, it's hardly a great choice for teens. Sure, your kids won't technically hear the F-bomb because it's bleeped out, but they'll hear plenty of bleeping -- and they'll definitely know what's being said. It's also true that they won't see any underage drinking, but if they look up to the over-21 guys on the show, they'll be exposed to plenty of iffy behavior that you wouldn't want them to emulate. A few brand-names are promoted, too, and girls (who are often referred to as "hot chicks") are sometimes objectified. In short, if you're looking for a show that will expose your kids to positive role models ... keep looking.
What's the story?
Brody Jenner (Lauren Conrad's former flame on The Hills and the son of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner) is looking for someone to love -- in a brotherly way, of course -- in this MTV reality competition that pits nine guys from across the country against one another in "the ultimate test of male bonding." Over the course of several weeks, the guys jump through hoops at Jenner's bidding in a series of elimination-style challenges, try ingto edge each other out in hopes of joining Jenner's entourage of "It" guys. In the process, they try to prove themselves worthy of the high life and winning the ultimate prize: a fully furnished penthouse with an A-list view of Los Angeles ... and permission to stand in Jenner's shadow.
Is it any good?
When it comes to pure entertainment value, BROMANCE is only slightly better than the Ryan Seacrest-produced show that inspired it, Paris Hilton's My New BFF. But both shows are equally questionable when it comes to the shallow values they promote, which could send teens mixed signals when it comes to role modeling. Some guys actually seem like they want to be Jenner's new "friend," while others are clearly in it for their 15 minutes of fame.
And Jenner himself is a troubling mix of fuzzy motivations: part good guy, part bad guy, part player, and part victim. (After all, The Hills' Spencer Pratt kind of makes him look like a saint.) In the end, it would be easy to dismiss Bromance as mindless entertainment -- but wouldn't you rather your kids watch something that actually makes them think?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the real reason that a reality TV star like Brody Jenner might want to launch a national search for a new best friend. Jenner already has a pair of dependable "wing men," so why would he need to find a new companion? Do you think his motivations are genuine? Why or why not? And do you think his search will yield someone who will actually remain his friend for more than 10 minutes? What qualities is Jenner looking for in a friend? How do they compare with the qualities you value in your friends?