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 while this reality series -- which follows actress Denise Richards as she attempts to rebuild her life after her mother's death and her own much-publicized divorce from Charlie Sheen -- includes some discussion of family and motherhood, it's more focused on Richards' attempts to revitalize her love life and rebuild her career. Conversations about men are frequently full of sexual innuendo (including crude references to male genitals), and Richards is sometimes seen in her underwear, modeling bikinis, and even completely naked (though no private parts are actually shown). There's also some social drinking and a fair amount of strong language, though curse words like "dick" and "f--k" are bleeped.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DENISE RICHARDS: IT'S COMPLICATED follows actress Denise Richards as she begins rebuilding her life after her mother's death and her own much-publicized divorce to actor Charlie Sheen. Helping her along in the process is her father, Irv, who moved in with Richards and her two young daughters after his wife's passing. Things are complicated by the pressure that Richards' sister Michelle and other well-intentioned friends place on her to jump into the L.A. dating scene. Oh, and she has to find a way to revive her acting career, too.
Is it any good?
Like most "celebreality" shows, It's Complicated has a handful of quirky moments thanks to Richards' circle of friends, her personal assistants, and her psychic. A menagerie of household pets -- including several pigs -- adds to the fray. But while these bits are lighthearted, they're overshadowed by Richards' comments about relationships and dating, which usually include subtle (and some not-so-subtle) references to her rocky relationships with Sheen and musician Richie Sambora. These conversations are particularly awkward when they take place on dates.
Ironically, while Richards claims that she wants to show the "real" her, it's painfully obvious that the series is mostly an attempt to keep her in the Hollywood spotlight. In between moments with her dad and kids are scenes of Richards taking off her clothes, posing in bikinis, and, in at least one instance, standing completely naked in front of the camera (though sensitive areas aren't shown). Meanwhile, conversations about her past and present love life are full of sexual innuendo and other strong language. As a result, while teens and adults may find this show mildly entertaining in a voyeuristic way, it's not an age-appropriate choice for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of celebrity-focused reality shows. What makes these celebs' lives entertaining? Why do you think some stars are willing to discuss very private issues -- like divorce or dating -- on television? Do you think reality TV is a good forum for discussing these topics? Families can also discuss stars using reality shows to jump-start their careers. Do you think it helps or hinders them in general? Do you think the celebs featured in these shows act the same way when the cameras aren't there?