Carson Nation TV Poster Image

Carson Nation

(i)

 

Makeover show light on drama, heavy on sympathy, sweetness.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show focuses on deserving, kind-hearted makeover candidates, and offers viewers a window into these everyday peoples' lives. 

Positive role models

Host Carson Kressley crisscrosses the United States looking for deserving makeover candidates. Along the way, he listens to his guests' stories, offering a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on if needed. Kressley is an empathetic and likable host whose affection for the show's guests seems genuine.

Violence

Some participants' stories involve illness, divorce, or the loss of a loved one.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Double entendres aren't unheard of, but language rarely goes beyond mild. 

Consumerism

In one episode a bride-to-be receives a gift of Louboutin heels. The show uses donated goods and services from mostly local vendors, which are mentioned by name throughout the show. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Guests at a wedding toast with and drink champagne. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality makeover series takes the superficial fashion makeover template and spins it a heart of gold. Host Carson Kressley finds deserving makeover candidates and gives them style updates for free. All of these participants have endured some type of hardship -- from divorce to the loss of a loved one -- which makes the stories quite touching (and sometimes drawing tears). Expect mentions of local stores, service poviders, and some national brands -- all who donate their services presumably in exchange for mentions on the show.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Carson Kressley, best known for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, travels throughout America in an Airstream, looking for deserving makeover candidates in this reality makeover show. These makeovers take place in smaller U.S. cities, such as Odessa, Texas, and Eureka, Calif., and focuses on makeover candidate who have faced adversity in some way. In every episode, these makeover candidates share their touching (and at times heartbreaking) stories. Since the makeovers use products and services from local vendors, the show also serves as a way for these vendors to market their businesses.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

CARSON NATION is surprisingly touching. Hosted by the exuberant and almost-but-never-quite-over-the-top Kressley, much of the show hinges on his personality and hosting skills. Most viewers will find him charming, though some may find him a bit too invasive as a host. The before and afters of Kressley's makeovers are dramatic (Kressley actually calls these "make-betters").

Additionally, the makeover candidates are relatable and likeable, and many have faced life-changing or life-threatening experiences and illnesses. Since the show depends on donated goods and services from vendors, it walks a fine line between advertorial and entertainment; however, it usually lands squarely in the latter camp. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about makeovers. Why do you think makeover shows are so popular? Why do you think people feel as if they need makeovers? Do you like the participants' looks better before or after their makeovers?

  • Why do you think the vendors and businesses donate their goods and services to be on the show? Do you think that this television series is exploiting the businesses, or are the businesses benefiting from the arrangement?

  • Do you think makeover shows encourage consumerism? Did you want to buy certain products or try new hairstyles or clothing styles after watching the show? Do you think this is a positive or a negative impulse?

TV details

Premiere date:June 25, 2011
Network:OWN
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Carson Nation was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.