Designer to the Stars: Kari Whitman

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Designer to the Stars: Kari Whitman TV Poster Image
Zany decorator perks up celebs' homes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Generally innocuous, though Whitman is a workaholic and sometimes treats her employees rather firmly. On the upside, she's a successful, confident, passionate businesswoman.

Violence

Occasional dangerous behavior -- for example, Whitman driving with her knees (no hands on the wheel).

Sex

Random talk about dating, being engaged, etc. Some flirting.

Language

Words like "ass," "bitch," and "dammit" flow freely, while the occasional "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Some mention of brands like Frigidaire, though not obvious product placement. Whitman drives a Range Rover. The people who hire her are incredibly rich.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. One episode shows Whitman getting a vitamin IV drip.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality program follows the life of a celebrity interior decorator. Because viewers see both her work and personal life, there's a good deal of talk about who she finds attractive and her past dating experiences. There's also plenty of cursing, with only the worst words bleeped. Other "highlights" include a shot of Whitman driving with her knees -- her hands entirely off the wheel -- and a scene in which she wipes a dog's behind several times (viewers get an up-close look).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTuppence April 9, 2008

I love her passion for animals and decor

I love watching this show! Kari has great style and her love of animals borders on my own and that is truly hard to find, therefore I have tvo'd it so I do... Continue reading
Adult Written byjairoparga April 9, 2008

KARI IS A UNTALENTED WOMAN BESIDES ORDINARY AND GROSS TALKER

Hi , I just watched the episode where Kari Whitman designed Jessica Alba's parents home. I was completely dissapointed of this lady, KARI WHITMAN's g... Continue reading

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What's the story?

In the hectic reality show DESIGNER TO THE STARS: KARI WHITMAN, cameras follow the day-to-day experiences of a Los Angeles-based interior designer whose work brings her into the homes of celebrities like Jessica Alba and Kristen Bell. Whitman -- a slightly wacky and always enthusiastic pouty-mouthed blonde -- zips from place to place procuring the perfect granite for a kitchen counter, then slips out for a night on the town in honor of her other great passion, dogs. Watching Whitman work -- and exercise with her trainer, get a vitamin IV, and talk about her three ex-fiancés -- can be both fascinating and irritating: She's got a strong personality that might grate on some people's nerves. But even when Whitman is being bossy or cloying, she's also endearing.

Is it any good?

Getting glimpses of celebrities in a somewhat real-life setting can be fun, so the show works as a guilty pleasure/stay-home-sick show, but it doesn't go beyond that. As the growing popularity of the home renovation industry (both on TV and in real life) demonstrates, watching a room go from "before" to "after" can be enjoyable. And teens might enjoy the celebrity eye candy, though parents should be aware that bad language flows pretty freely, with only the major words getting bleeped.

Also, while Whitman's work ethic is incredibly solid, she could also be considered a workaholic, putting work above her health and personal relationships. Not a great message for teens. On the other hand, she's a successful businesswoman with lots of confidence, and she doesn't hesitate to correct someone if they're wrong or stand up for what she believes in. Not a bad message for teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their reactions to Whitman's personality. Do you find her strong and confident or bossy and mean? Do you think you'd feel differently if she were a man? In what ways does she act stereotypically female? What does she do that goes against that stereotype? Do you think she would have gotten her own show if her clients weren't famous? Also, Whitman works even when she's wiped out by illness. Is this a good example? What's a healthy balance between work and personal life?

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