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 this reality series -- which chronicles the lives of a family of brothers whose R&B act is close to getting its big break -- spends a lot of time on family relationships, including the rocky association between the Harrell "boys" and their absentee father. Although the family is very close, they sometimes have heated arguments (using lots of bleeped curses) and sometimes physically fight each other. The "N" word is also part of the family's vernacular. Expect to see some drinking and sexual innuendo/talk, including discussions about one brother's virginity.
What's the story?
BROTHERS TO BRUTHA follows the lives of the Harrell brothers, who -- as R&B group Brutha -- have signed with Island Def Jam records. Under the direction of their tough-but-loving uncle/manager Drano, Grady, Tony, Jared, Poppa, and Jacob, have to learn how to be a professional act and prove that they belong on the hit music scene. But as they work on their rhythms, they must also find a way to balance their careers with their personal lives. Adding to the pressure are both the daily challenges that come with being part of a close extended family and the brothers' tenuous relationship with their father, a musician who was missing during most of their lives. It isn't always easy, but the brothers try to keep it real while focusing on their commitment to their success and to each other.
Is it any good?
While the show is clearly a promotional vehicle for the up-and-coming group, Brothers to Brutha is also very much about family. The young men openly discuss their feelings about their troubled childhood, their absentee father, and -- for Grady and Tony -- their roles as parents. They also openly note the love and respect they have for their uncle, who, despite having two children of his own, has made it his mission to provide them with the opportunity to succeed both as R&B singers and as men.
Unfortunately, sibling rivalry and other unresolved issues sometimes lead to some unhealthy family feuds that include heated verbal exchanges and fistfights. But the emotions leading up to these moments seem genuine, and while the brothers' on-camera "make-up moments" seem a little contrived, you get the sense that even if they don't always get along, they really do love each other. It's got some iffy content, but overall this show succeeds in pointing out that family, no matter how imperfect, can serve as a foundation to build success on.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the Harrells (and other similar families) would want to be featured on a reality show. Do you think this series is simply a way of promoting the band, or does it offer something more?
Do you think being featured on a reality show helps an actor or musician's career?
Is having a great singing voice enough to make someone a star? What other things does a singer or band have to have to make it big?
For kids who love reality TV
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