CMT Diary

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
CMT Diary TV Poster Image
Glimpse at stars' lives can send mixed messages.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series gives celebs a chance to show a more personal side of themselves, including family time, home life, and hobbies. But depending on the star, it often morphs into an opportunity for them to applaud their own efforts (sometimes to a nauseating degree) to handle fame and fortune and maintain a "normal" life while celebrating favorite pastimes like drinking and "raising hell."

Violence

At least one scene includes scenes of people participating in target practice with guns.

Sex
Language

Expletives like "hell," "ass," "bitch," and "damn" are common. "F--k" is bleeped.

Consumerism

Alcohol brands like Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, and Michelob are prominent on beverage containers and clothing. Fast food restaurants like McDonald's also get air time when the celebs stop in to eat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some stars and their entourage drink frequently. In at least one episode, drinking is referred to as a "family tradition" that plays a part in nearly every aspect of the celebrity's life -- from relaxation to a pre-concert ritual -- and even is present during a group outing to the shooting range. Smoking is present, too, though less frequently.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that because each episode in this glamorized reality series spotlights a different celebrity, it's difficult to predict the content. While some may focus on positive messages about family, faith, and generosity, others celebrate drinking, hobbies like shooting guns (with beer in hand, no less), and financial success with minimal education. As if that's not enough, the blatant inclusion of brand names -- again, often alcohol-related -- should have parents thinking twice before giving teens the green light.

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What's the story?

In CMT DIARY, country music stars get the chance to take viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of their lives. Like its sister series on MTV, CMT Diary spotlights a different star in every episode, following along as they share a more private side of themselves with their fans. From home life to life on the road, the celebs lay it all on the line as they get personal about love, family, hobbies, and stardom.

Is it any good?

Seeing into celebrities' lives may sound enticing, and it's definitely got the curiosity factor in its favor, but the featured celebs don't always exhibit model behavior. Take a recent episode featuring Gretchen Wilson, for example. Almost every scene -- whether at home with family or during meetings on the tour bus -- involves drinking, including one in which Wilson and her family take viewers along for a favorite group pastime -- target practice -- and she's shown with a beer in one hand and a handgun in the other. But not to worry -- she explains it all by tying it to family bonding: "Shootin' guns and drinkin' and raising hell is kind of just part of a family tradition." Shortly thereafter, she reminds viewers that celebs like herself need to keep it real because, after all, "you've got to be a role model."

Because the tone of CMT Diary depends on the personality of its stars, each episode is different. For some stars, family and faith come first, and the resulting messages may be entirely unobjectionable. If your teens can't get enough of their country music idols, don't rule out this insider's look at their lives -- just check it out before giving them the go-ahead.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the media's influence on our lifestyles. How does the entertainment industry play a role in what we consume? Does seeing specific products or brands in TV shows affect how you think about them? If so, how? Should celebrities associate with certain products and brands? Do you think it affects how teens perceive habits like drinking and smoking? Families can also discuss the lives of the featured celebrities. After watching this show, do teens want to be rich and famous? What are some of the benefits/disadvantages to living a public life?

TV details

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