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 this adult-oriented British reality show about food and entertaining probably won't interest most kids -- unless they're foodies in training. If they do want to watch, however, be prepared for some bleeped swearing (mostly "f--k," although you'll hear "s--t," "c--k," and "dick," too) and the occasional sexually charged dinner conversation. The show also involves a good bit of drinking, as alcohol is often used as an icebreaker.
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What's the story?
In COME DINE WITH ME, four self-proclaimed foodies tuck into some good English eats over the course of a single week -- but the catch is, they're doing it in each other's homes. A different participant plays the role of host each night, with the others gathering around the table as dinner guests. At the end of the evening, each guest grades the host on a scale of one to 10; the host or hostess with the highest average score at the end of the week wins $1,000.
Is it any good?
Wildly entertaining, it's not. But Come Dine with Me works well as a fly-on-the-wall social experiment that invites at-home food enthusiasts along for the ride -- if not in for a bite. Thanks to the diversity of the contestant pool, the show also covers a surprising array of culinary tastes, from a Grecian-inspired menu of moussaka and baklava to a native African feast of zebra and ostrich. The hosts' elaborate dishes don't always turn out well, but it's fascinating to see what -- and how -- they cook when they're trying to impress other people.
Sit-down entertaining might seem like an antiquated custom, but in a world where many of us don't even know our next-door neighbors, it's refreshing to see strangers open their homes, share a meal, and (gasp!) actually make conversation. For that reason alone, it's worth your time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cooking at home and how it stacks up against dining out. How many nights a week does your family eat a meal that's been prepared at home? How often do you rely on take-out or sit-down restaurants? Which do you like better?
Why do the hosts use alcohol to break the ice? Will serving guests alcohol guarantee a successful evening, or can it lead to unexpected consequences?
Do you think this show could be a hit in the United States if it were adapted for American audiences? Why or why not? Is there anything special about British culture that makes Come Dine with Me a better fit for that country?
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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.
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