Parents' Guide to

Fame (1980s)

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Classic teen series is dated, but it once broke new ground.

TV Syndicated Drama 1982
Fame (1980s) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

a fantastic show about the teachers and students of a prestigious music high school

Fame is one of my all time favorite TV shows, 2nd only to Early Edition which is not available for review here yet. And the generally family friendly TV show is much better than the raunchier Fame movie it was based on. The teachers on the TV show are experts in their field who care about the students. Some of the students come from hard family backgrounds. Excellent music, especially in the first two seasons where Lori Singer's Julie Miller, Bruno Martelli, and Coco Hernandez were key students in the show.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This TV series is a far cry from Fame the movie, which offered a gritty, honest portrayal of what it was like for teens growing up in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Whereas the film captured the raw emotions of teens who were grappling with heavy issues -- including homosexuality and teen pregnancy -- the small-screen version is much tamer, focusing on the positive aspects of the characters' lives and reserving serious topics for occasional "issue" episodes. It also fails to replicate the film's vibrancy when it comes to the musical performances, which are typically lip-synched or played over a montage. But Fame was undeniably entertaining -- and popular -- for its time, earning eight Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes.

For today's kids, Fame will seem seriously dated -- from the legwarmers the students wear to class to the mimeograph used in the central office to make copies. But that isn't to say they won't like it. The best thing about it, by far, is the fact that parents don't have to worry about iffy content and can actually feel good about their teens -- and even some older tweens -- watching. And that kind of makes it feel kind of modern.

TV Details

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