Extreme Cribs

TV review by
Elka Karl, Common Sense Media
Extreme Cribs TV Poster Image
MTV spotlights unusual homes without the usual celeb focus.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Many of the unusual homes featured on the show are eco-friendly, and all require a lot of out-of-the-box, creative thinking.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Families and teens featured on the show aren't afraid to be perceived as different due to their unusual homes. They also often advocate for eco features such as solar power or recycled materials in their homes.

Violence
Sex

A fireplace in a cob house is formed out of clay to look like a pregnant woman, with naked breasts exposed. Another house's facade looks strikingly like a vagina.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this addition to MTV's Cribs franchise has a much different and more family-friendly focus than the original series. Teens and young adults give tours of their unusual homes in a way that celebrates creativity and individuality instead of consumerism and excess. Occasionally some suggestive imagery (like a sculpture of a naked woman) pops up, but it's not emphasized.

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What's the story?

EXTREME CRIBS introduces viewers to families around the world who live in unconventional homes. From houses built into caverns to hippie cob homes and treehouse abodes, the series is a striking departure from the original MTV Cribs series.

Is it any good?

While other shows in the Cribs franchise celebrate wealth and excess, Extreme Cribs has an admirably different focus. The original series and its spin-offs focused on fleets of cars, massive square footage, and bulk supplies of alcohol. While some Extreme Cribs houses are large, the focus is never its size. Instead, unusual features, such as the fact that a castle-type home was built out of stone harvested from the property, are celebrated.

 

The families and homes showcased here definitely aren't average -- you have to be able to think outside the box to build a home in the mouth of a cave in the Utah desert. The show is an excellent choice for teens who may feel a little alienated from more mainstream classmates. The families and teens showcased understand that they may be perceived as "weird," but they seem very comfortable with this label. And while the MTV production values are still present -- corny sound effects and rock music riffs are common -- they’re toned down compared to other versions of the show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a home unusual. Is it the building materials? The shape? The location? Do you think these houses are affordable to most families? How can you tell?

  • What do you think motivates these families to agree to an MTV house tour?

  • Do you notice anything about who usually gives the home tours? Are they generally attractive? Young? Do you think that's a coincidence?

TV details

  • Premiere date: August 1, 2011
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: Streaming

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