TV review by
Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media
Diary TV Poster Image
Videolog for popular celebs is OK for teens.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Subjects' lives are heavily glamorized, complete with special star treatment, personal assistants, and a privileged lifestyle.


Stars agree to record a video diary as promotion for an upcoming movie, album, or TV show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this voyeuristic series highlights a few days in the lives of celebrities who are in the midst of promotional tours for new albums, movies, or TV shows. Not surprisingly, then, the show presents a highly glamorized take on "real" life.

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What's the story?

Every episode of DIARY includes the following catchphrase: "You think you know, but you have no idea. This is the diary of (insert celebrity name here)." With this set-up, the series proclaims that there is so much more work to celebrity life than the public realizes. Diary then proceeds to take viewers behind the scenes of a day in the life of a celebrity promoting their latest project (past subjects have included Ludacris, Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Angelina Jolie, Bono, the cast of One Tree Hill, Chris Rock, Good Charlotte, and Shakira). Typical activities include radio interviews, photo shoots, re-recording movie dialogue, listening to the latest version of a new single, or getting ready to hit the red carpet. Scenes of work and play are interspersed with shots of the star speaking directly into the camera, which generally connects back to the celeb's latest work -- who they worked with, how much fun they had, how much they respect a particular producer, and how enthusiastic they are about their latest accomplishment.

Is it any good?

Diary offers regular folks an intriguing glimpse of celebrities' lives, humanizing them at the same time, but it's best to take the show's view of "real" life with a pretty big grain of salt. Some of what is shown really is hard work -- early wake-up calls, living in a hotel, multiple phone interviews, excessive traveling -- but it's hard to sympathize given the perks of celebrity status: personal shoppers, personal assistants, drivers, free designer clothes, magazine covers, adoring fans, and so on. If it's MTV your teen is after, they might enjoy other behind-the-scenes programming that's less about celebrity and more about topics they can relate to in their own life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lifestyles some celebrities lead to stay in the public eye. After watching this show, do your teens want to be rich and famous? What are some of the benefits/disadvantages to living a public life? Does this show make celebrity life look like hard work? Is it realistic for anyone -- including celebrities -- to expect this level of scrutiny and attention all the time?

TV details

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