A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though plastic surgery's nasty side effects are mentioned, it's promoted as a perfectly acceptable cure-all for physical problems.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that each episode follows two people who undergo several cosmetic surgery procedures to "improve" their looks. While the show's producers are careful to show the physical and emotional side effects of the procedures, the overwhelming message -- thanks to the smiles and "oohs" and "aahs" that accompany the subjects' big "reveal" after they're done -- is that plastic surgery is good and solves your problems.
Is It Any Good?
In theory, Extreme Makeover does good -- people with serious problems like cleft palates and premature female baldness are given a chance to correct them. But for the most part, the show glorifies and sometimes trivializes the notion that plastic surgery is the solution to all appearance-related problems.
While a small portion of each episode is dedicated to the painful recuperation process, and some people are given a "life makeover" that doesn't involve surgery (in one episode, for example, a violinist gets the chance to play with her idol, Leann Rimes), viewers never see how the people who altered their appearances feel three, six, or nine months later. And not knowing whether the folks who went under the knife ultimately felt better about themselves -- or if their issues weren't fixed by the surgery -- is a big question mark to leave hanging.
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