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 Candidly Nicole is a partly scripted reality series about a celebrity in Los Angeles. The show was inspired by Nicole Richie's Twitter feed. The Twitter logo and Richie's tweets are frequently shown on-screen; viewers may be inspired to subscribe. Parents may want to check said Twitter feed and make sure that it meets their standards before letting teens and tweens watch the show. Richie is a sweet and silly host, and her antics are mostly inoffensive and fine for teens and tweens. Parents may object to Richie's potty humor, with jokes about sex, colonics, toilets, bathroom pranks, and body parts. There's also a bit of cursing, often at absurd moments; "ass" and "bitch" are left unbleeped, although "f--k" is bleeped. Richie and her friends also drink cocktails, beer, and wine; no one acts drunk on-screen.
What's the story?
Nicole Richie's four million Twitter followers already know that the star is a five-star absurdist, brilliant at crafting 140-character-or-less summations of life's little ironies -- at least, those from the point of view of a rich and famous Los Angeles celebutante. CANDIDLY NICOLE catches up with the star at home with her circle of friends and family members, from the nonfamous to the otherwise (dad Lionel Richie), who help Nicole through parallel parking, online dating by proxy (it's not really cheating on your husband), and getting that tramp stamp removed in vignettes that are inspired by Richie's tweets.
Is it any good?
If your perception of Richie begins and ends with a vision of her as an eye-rolling twentysomething paired with Paris Hilton on The Simple Life, you may be surprised at the thirtysomething Richie who quickly emerges as the star of her own show. She's a sly, charming sweetheart who's completely in on the joke of her whole life as a tabloid staple and troublemaking Los Angeles rich kid. In priceless "behind the scenes" interviews, she mocks herself relentlessly: "I'm just saying what's on my mind; I can't help it if my mind is mind-ier than other people's minds." Nor does she spare herself when in the company of loved ones: Summing up the results of parallel-parking lessons from her dad, she gloats, "I was really good at that. You would never know I have two DUIs."
Richie also emerges as something of a fixer/live wire among her group of compatriots, the type to throw baby showers, initiate family get-togethers, and help her best friend write her online dating profile. "Race?" Richie muses, typing on her phone and examining her friend's face critically. "You're white. White as a toilet." Later, Richie meets a date for a drink on the pretext of telling him her friend isn't really interested in him. She orders red wine and tells him, deadpan: "I'm very classy." Curiously enough, Ms. Richie, despite your jokes about poop, you are.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Nicole Richie is famous. What movies or TV shows has she been in? What do you know about her? How does that affect how you watch Candidly Nicole?
Reality shows that purport to reveal a celebrity's private life are common on TV. Why do you think this is? What is the appeal, and to whom does it appeal? Do you have to be a fan of a celebrity to enjoy a reality show about him or her?
Why don't the people who meet Nicole on-screen act surprised to see cameras? What does this say about this show's "reality" or lack thereof?
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