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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 Chasing Cameron is an unscripted series centering on internet star Cameron Dallas and a handful of his peers as they embark on a worldwide meet-and-greet tour with fans. There's little point to the show except to give the celebs more and longer screen time than they generally get online. In other words, it's a self-serving endeavor designed primarily to appeal to Cameron's existing fan base (young tween and teen girls, mostly) and secondarily to ingratiate himself to newcomers. Expect to hear some sporadic language ("damn" and "bitch," for instance) and to see lots of brand names on and around the guys (Apple, Calvin Klein, Converse, and so on). The other thing you'll see is hoards of screaming fans clamoring for a glance or handshake from these stars. If your kids aren't interested in this show, don't bother pushing it, but if they do want to watch, be sure to use the opportunity to talk to them about the role social media plays in their lives and relationships and to point out the dangers of confusing virtual reality with actual reality.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
CHASING CAMERON follows internet star Cameron Dallas as he works to energize his career with a worldwide fan tour alongside his friends Aaron Carpenter, Taylor Caniff, Willie Jones, Trey Schafer, and Blake Gray. This unscripted series gives fans more insight into the celebrities' personal lives and their public personas as the guys share time with their families, interact with fans, and deal with the business sides of their careers.
Is it any good?
Fans and followers will have this show on their must-see lists, but it's little more than a self-promotional tool for Cameron and his fellow internet personalities. These stars' claim to fame is their ability to market themselves via photos and videos to their legions of young, mostly female fans. It's not a substantive job with standards for success. Instead they measure their achievements by how quickly they can turn a post or a picture into millions of likes or an outing into a fan mob, sending questionable messages about self-worth, not to mention solid career aspirations. Yes, it does reflect the changing nature of our culture and social media's place in it, but discerning viewers are left wondering if this really is a good change.
One interesting theme that deserves some discussion if your kids do follow Chasing Cameron is the apparent correlation between Cameron's lack of a father figure and his seeming desperation for fans' approval, as well as similar scenarios among his fellow stars. This touches on broader issues concerning social media, namely its influence on the very nature of reality and its role in affecting self-esteem. If it can be used to make anyone a star, then what defines success? What happens when the next best thing comes along? Is there anything tangible about virtual relationships? These and other issues are just coming to light in our tweens' and teens' social media-saturated lives, and they warrant some thought, especially after watching this series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about when and how tweens and teens use social media. What are the positive aspects of sites such as Twitter and Snapchat? On the other hand, what role can they play in issues like bullying?
Is Cameron's lifestyle and status something to aspire to? Do you think he feels fulfilled with his career? Would you?
How important are role models in keeping you on track for a successful future? Who are some of your role models? What qualities do you admire in them?