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Deion's Family Playbook
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 Deion's Family Playbook is a reality series featuring former professional athlete Deion Sanders and his extended family. It's pretty mild for a reality show, and underscores positive messages about family, parenting, children, and education. There's some occasional mild language and occasional fight between children, but nothing violent. Prime Prep Academy Charter School, which Sanders co-founded, is prominently featured.
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What's the story?
DEION'S FAMILY PLAYBOOK is a reality series starring former NFL and MLB pro Deion Sanders as he raises his children in Dallas, Texas. The single father is raising three of his biological children, 13-year-old Shilo, 11-year old Shedeur, and his 11-year-old daughter Shelomi, as well as his 16-year old niece, an infant nephew, and his 15-year-old foster son, Florida. Adding to the fray are 7-year-old twins Heaven and Nevaeh, who live in the home and are being fostered by Sanders' mother, Connie. In addition to his parenting duties, he helps run Prime Prep Academy, a charter school he co-founded in order to encourage, mentor, and promote the future success of underprivileged kids in the area. There's never a dull moment, but luckily his girlfriend, entertainment producer Tracey Edmonds, flies in from Los Angeles regularly to help him out.
Is it any good?
Deion's Family Playbook, which is produced by Tracey Edmonds, offers a voyeuristic look into the Sanders' family world, the values of which reflect Deion Sanders' emphasis on worship, education, hard work, mentorship, and, of course, sports. While it showcases Sanders' hands-on parenting and coaching skills, it also succeeds in painting a very charming picture of his life by not addressing some of his well-publicized troubles, including his contentious divorce from reality-celeb Pilar Sanders, and the state's investigation into alleged violations committed by Prime Prep Academy administrators.
Sanders' life and family is not as idyllic as it is being portrayed here, and there are also a fair share of staged moments. But the show's overall positive messages about parenting, children, family, and education make the obvious lack-of-reality forgivable. There are a few mildly entertaining moments, too. Deion Sanders' fans will find it worth watching, but if you're looking for a guilty pleasure, you won't find it here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reality shows. What makes a person or family interesting enough to have a reality series of their own? Is it fair to expect that their show will show viewers every detail of their lives?
What is the difference between reality TV and an unscripted series? Is it appropriate or ethical for a reality series to feature pre-planned moments? At what point does a a reality show with lots of staged moments begin to turn into fiction?
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