Eddie Griffin: Going for Broke

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Eddie Griffin: Going for Broke TV Poster Image
Comedian faces un-funny consequences of overspending.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series centers on the idea that no matter how much money you have, overspending on yourself, family, and friends can lead to financial ruin. It also focuses on familial love and respect.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Doris provides tough love, help, and guidance to straighten out Griffin’s life. Meanwhile, while Griffin isn’t perfect, he loves his family and friends and wants to take care of them -- even though some of them act as though they're entitled to being “kept” by the comedian (this despiote the fact that he's in dire financial straits thanks to spending too much on luxuries for himself and his family and friends).

Violence

People are shown getting arrested for non-violent offenses, like selling things without a permit.

Sex

One of Griffin’s uncles is asking him for money to start a pornography video series. Women are shown in skimpy bathing suits and in provocative poses in Griffin’s see-through pool. Some conversations include discussions about having too many children and getting a vasectomy.

Language

Words like “hell” and “damn” are audible; stronger choices like “f--k” and “s--t” are bleeped, but you can sometimes still tell what's being said.

Consumerism

The show helps promote the "brand" of Eddie Griffin.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People on the show frequently drink champagne, beer, and wine. Griffin smokes cigarettes but is (supposedly) trying to quit. His mother accuses him of being an alcoholic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that much of the focus of this reality show -- in which comedian Eddie Griffin tries to make life changes to help get his finances in order -- is on Griffin’s spending habits, which include hosting expensive parties and financially supporting his extended family and network of friends. Although this show is less salacious and more family-focused than some of VH1's other reality series, you can still expect some strong language (words like “damn” and “hell” are audible, while those like “f--k” and “s--t” are bleeped) and sexual innuendo (including brief conversations about pornography). People are also shown drinking wine, cocktails, and champagne socially, and Griffin smokes cigarettes (though he says he's trying quit).

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What's the story?

EDDIE GRIFFIN: GOING FOR BROKE follows comedian/actor Eddie Griffin as he works on adjusting his lifestyle in order to avoid financial ruin. The performer -- who's used to spending loads of money on parties, his eight children, his five ex-wives, and his extended network of family and friends -- now finds himself having to keep his expenses down and learning to be less generous. His mother, Doris, is on hand to help him get under control and make some tough decisions -- like cutting off people who expect him to shell out the cash to help them realize their personal dreams. It’s definitely hard to do, but Griffin soon realizes that he'll lose everything if doesn’t find a way to stick to a budget.

Is it any good?

The show offers an honest look at some of the ways that celebrities and other wealthy people burn through their money after initial riches and success. Adding an extra level of interest are the loyalty that Griffin shows to his family and his struggle to balance his financial future with his instincts to shower his loved ones with the best that money can buy.

While Griffin’s generosity seems genuine, the show's depiction of family isn’t always the most positive. The fact that some of Griffin's relatives are so willing to rely solely on his money to realize their own goals makes them seem -- perhaps unwittingly -- greedy and entitled. And some of Griffin’s attempts to curb his own negative behaviors -- like hosting flamboyant parties, drinking, and smoking -- seem a bit half-hearted, too. But all that aside, there are definitely real lessons to be learned here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they think celebrities like Griffin live upscale lifestyles to maintain a media image. Or does something else motivate their spending?

  • What do you think Griffin's motivation for participating in this series is? Why would celebrities agree to have their personal lives shown on TV?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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