TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Driven TV Poster Image
Celebrity profiles will fascinate dedicated fans.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Although most of the stars profiled experienced hardships and even battled drug and alcohol addiction, they came out on top thanks to help from family and friends and inherent determination.


Depending on the star being profiled, there are snippets of violence (gang warfare and fistfights, for example) in his or her past.


Since some of the stars have had children out of wedlock, there's talk of premarital sex.


Curse words are bleeped out.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the stars have experienced drug and alcohol addiction.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the stars profiled in this documentary series have struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and that part of what makes them interesting is their less-than-normal lives. While most viewers will understand that just because their favorite star did drugs or had children out of wedlock doesn't mean that they should try it, too, parents might want to make sure that younger or more impressionable kids steer clear of episodes about particularly controversial celebs.

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What's the story?

In DRIVEN, viewers take a trip down memory lane along with the brothers, sisters, parents, and friends of current celebrities as they talk about what the stars were like growing up and how they got where they are today. Each episode is dedicated to a single celebrity whose youth and coming of age are chronicled in photos and home videos as well as through interviews with friends and family members who talk openly about what the star was like as a child. Then, using archived footage and anecdotes that often have never been seen before, producers portray the star's rise from anonymity to fame -- as seen through the eyes of those who knew him or her best. Stars profiled in the past have included Lindsay Lohan (pictured), Madonna, Britney Spears, Flavor Flav, and many more.

Is it any good?

Driven is a smart series that reveals what truly drives the celebrities who walk the red carpet. The stars' family members, friends, and associates are candid, and the producers don't gloss over the less savory parts of the celebs' pasts. Of course, that's exactly what might give parents pause, since many of the stars have dabbled heavily in drugs and alcohol and have exhibited behavior that those living in the "real" world might deem irresponsible.

Still, the end result is always uplifting, with each star seeing the light and overcoming whatever vice or addiction holds him or her back. Bottom line: If your kid's favorite star is being profiled, it would be a shame to keep them away from getting the goods simply because the celeb has made some bad choices in the past. Consider previewing the episode first, then watching it with your child so that you can put any bad behavior and choices in context.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature of celebrity. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous? What does it take to make it in the TV, movie, or music industries? What's a typical day like for someone like Britney Spears? And why do we find the personal details of stars' lives so fascinating, anyway? Does anything you learn from the show change your feelings about the person being profiled?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 15, 2002
  • Network: VH1
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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