Does Someone Have to Go?

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Does Someone Have to Go? TV Poster Image
Workplace reality competition has catty behavior, cursing.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series underscores that decisions made by employers to make changes in the company, including letting employees go, are not arbitrary. There's a voyeuristic quality to the show, where the audience watches workers struggle with decisions that have real effects on their coworkers' livelihoods.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the employees are hard workers; however, some are gossipy, lazy, irresponsible, etc.


Catty behavior between employees is frequent. Disagreements lead to some arguing, yelling, and insults.


Some employees make inappropriate sexual comments and are accused of flirting with employees and/or sexual harassment.


Words like "ass" are audible; "s--t" and "f--k are bleeped with mouths blurred.


Small companies, like VMS, are featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Does Someone Have to Go? is a workplace reality competition that's not designed for kids and will likely not interest them. There's a lot of catty behavior, as well as some swearing, and cigarette smoking. There are also some references to sexual harassment. It also highlights some of the difficult decisions employers must make when improving a company's performance and letting personnel go.

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What's the story?

DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO GO? features employees of small corporations taking over their bosses' job. The CEOs of companies plagued by gossipy, lazy, and all-around difficult personnel give their staff the opportunity to take over the company for 48 hours. While in charge, each person learns what her/his coworker honestly thinks about her/his job performance. Each employee's salary is also revealed. They must each then use this information to determine which three employees should be selected to potentially be terminated in order to improve the company's overall performance. They can also decide whether to demote colleagues and/or implement salary reductions for the good of the company. The three employees must then convince their co-workers that they are a valuable member of the team, and should remain on the company payroll.

Is it any good?

Does Someone Have to Go? turns the tables on employees by putting them in a position where they are the ones who must make difficult decisions designed to benefit the overall company, and base these decisions on the relationship between the quality of employees' contributions to the workplace, their salary, and the need to cut costs. The result is a show full of Survivor-like moments during which office personnel try to convince each other to select (and not select) specific co-workers for elimination, and uncomfortable conference-room meetings where those at risk of getting terminated must convince everyone else to keep them on.

Despite all the tension and hurt feelings, the overall show isn't as cutthroat as other reality competitions, despite the fact that the decisions being made here can have a very real and negative impact on a cast member's life. One also has to wonder how a company will actually function once the details about each of its employees is so publicly revealed. But as far as unscripted shows go, the office politics featured here will definitely appeal to folks who like this sort of voyeuristic entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows. Why are people willing to have personal information about them, like their job performance and salaries publicized on a TV show? Are reality competitions the best way to teach people lessons about how to be a good employee, parent, or other active member of society?

  • What does the audience get from watching a show like this? Are we supposed to identify with the people on the show? Or pity them?

  • How real do you think this show is? What will happen to the companies and employees after this show goes off the air?

TV details

  • Premiere date: May 23, 2013
  • Network: Fox
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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