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, aside from a few skimpy outfits -- and a brief flash of lingerie seen in the show's first episode -- they can watch this series confidently with their kids. Rather than focusing heavily on backstage squabbles or rehearsal-room drama, the show emphasizes the high level of talent, determination, and athleticism the contestants need to stay in the competition. The one caveat: This spin-off is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Dancing With the Stars. Another national tour, anyone?
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What's the story?
Is it any good?
Hosted by Drew Lachey (singer Nick Lachey's somewhat less-famous brother, who won the second Stars contest in 2006), DANCE WAR: BRUNO VS. CARRIE ANN is an unbridled attempt to keep Stars fans sated in between seasons. But based on the contestants' relative youth (most appear to be in their teens and 20s), it also serves as a clever way for the franchise to attract younger viewers and sell more tickets come tour time.
Dance War kicks off with an American Idol-style national search with all the expected hi-jinks, including some seriously horrible voices -- and, of course, the requisite guy in a chicken suit. (Ahem.) Thankfully, a few truly talented contenders emerge who make watching this Dance War worthwhile. Talent levels aside, the competition's singing aspect seems odd (after all, hasn't the show's title has already declared a dance war?). But that doesn't protect these wannabe pop stars from having to perform the cheesy songs and somewhat simplified dance routines that can make these kinds of shows so tiresome.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this show actually fills a void in the TV marketplace -- or whether Dancing With the Stars producers were just trying to keep audiences glued to their sets in between seasons. How is this show different from Stars (in terms of format, types of contestants, and even music choices)? How is it similar? Do you think it was designed to appeal to the same people who watch Stars or to attract a different kind of audience?
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