Charm School

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Charm School TV Poster Image
Reality spin-off is tasteless and confusing.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Confusing messages about behavior. Lessons designed to teach teamwork, sisterhood, and respect are marred by the large amount of attention paid to exactly the opposite behaviors. Some intense criticism from the judges. The women compete against each other and can get very nasty. They have some compassion for one another, but this is rarely acknowledged.

Violence

Catfights, threats of violence.

Sex

Women often dress provocatively. Flashback scenes include women making out and playing in bed with a man. Some sexy dancing/moving. Lots of cleavage and some blurred nudity. Some mention of sex.

Language

Constant stream of profanity, much of which gets bleeped -- though depending on the time of day the show is broadcast, even "f--k" makes it through uncensored. Regularly unbleeped words include "ass" and the very popular "bitch."

Consumerism

Promotion of other Flavor of Love/Rock of Love-related shows. The women are eager for the cash prize.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking, mention of hangovers; some discussion of drug use ("weed").

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality spin-off is just as cringe-worthy as the crude series that supply its contestants, Flavor of Love and Rock of Love. Most of the women dress in tight, revealing clothes, and some act in sexually suggestive ways (such as getting up on a table and dancing sexily while wearing a schoolgirl outfit). Flashbacks to the original shows include shots of the women making out and carousing. There's some discussion of drug use, and the women are sometimes seen drinking or talking about being hung over. They argue and threaten one another, and some scenes involve physical fights. Profanity is regular, though much is bleeped. Last but not least, the show sends confusing messages about "good" behavior, and the women get some intense criticism from each other and their judges.

Wondering if Charm School is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytm124 September 28, 2009
Girls get in fights, one episode in which Larissa gets pulled away from a fight with Leilene by Becky, still yelling and using "B*tch. She uses F*ck severa... Continue reading
Adult Written byshunta April 9, 2008

It was funny

Imyself was just happy to see you put
Larissa and the rest of those girls off
and I really hope and pray that leilen
win because she is a very strong person
for... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKayKayD September 20, 2009

Great Show

I adored this show from the moment I saw it. It offers a chance for these hot mess girls to become better people, and from what I've seen, it works. It doe... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byvsquadcheer July 24, 2009

lolol

its a bad show...like, the storyline is...i just think its stupid to have a bunch of hoes running around trying to become ladies...but its funny to watch- i mea... Continue reading

What's the story?

Apparently, many people can't get enough of the cringe-worthy antics of the female contestants on shows like Flavor of Love and Rock of Love. Hence, CHARM SCHOOL, which takes an interesting -- if hypocritical -- tack with the wild women who once vied for Flavor Flav and Bret Michaels' affections. Declaring that the female contestants' outrageous behavior on the original show was an embarrassing display of rude, tacky tendencies, Charm School purports to teach them how to behave better. During the course of the series, they attend etiquette classes and compete in challenges that are designed to strengthen their character and add a little class to their act.

Is it any good?

Despite moving speeches about self-respect, other elements of the show point to continued objectification of the women for the sake of "entertainment." For example, when they prepared for their first elimination round in the show's first season, the contestants were given outfits that included short schoolgirl skirts, which many of them proceeded to sex up as much as possible by hiking them up even shorter or pairing them with an unbuttoned shirt with rosary beads nestled in cleavage. And Charm School delivers plenty of confusing messages both to the women and the audience. For example, the women are told that teaming up for a rigorous obstacle course challenge is an exercise in collaboration and sisterhood, but the team captain who chooses teammates based on friendship rather than their ability to win is punished.

In some ways, Charm School is an interesting study in class and race, though this aspect of the show isn't highlighted. For instance, when a white male judge tells an African-American female contestant that she should focus on the skills she's learning instead of the cash prize, she scoffs, saying later in an interview that for her, the money could significantly change her life. Viewers who recognize how some of these women are being taken advantage of by the show and its producers might feel a little icky enjoying the strangely compelling car crash that is Charm School.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why these women wanted to be on this show. What do you think their motivation is? What can you deduce about them from their behavior? Do you think they need or want to change the way they act? If they didn't act so wild, do you think they would be on the show in the first place? What purpose does a series like this serve? Is it just meant to be a guilty pleasure?

TV details

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate