Famous Food

Common Sense Media says

Celebs' tempers ignite restaurant reality contest.

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages aren't a priority, so the contestants' mediocre attempts to work as a team are downplayed in favor of infighting. Loyalty is nonexistent, and the celebs often cope with adversity by blaming and demeaning one another.

Positive role models

Most of the celebs let their egos interfere with any attempt at a team effort, and a few place blame or simply walk away when the going gets tough. Occasionally one will stand out for rationality or leadership qualities, and their efforts are recognized by the show's judges.

Violence

Plenty of bickering and heated arguments. At least one contestant sports T-shirts with violent themes like illustrations of knives.

Sex

Playful banter often references a contestant's job as an escort, including comments about her enjoying sex and a guy bragging that he has a picture of her naked in his studio. Guys refer to girls as "hot," and features like stripper poles are suggested for the restaurant. The fact that one participant played a character named "Big Pussy" opens the door for plenty of euphemisms directed at him.

Language

Pervasive language in heated arguments among the contestants. "Damn," "ass," "hell," "bitch," "sucks," and "whore" are audible; "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

The show's stars get recognition for their accomplishments, which include rap music as well as TV series like The Bachelor and The Sopranos.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Two contestants drink wine regularly; its effects on them, including obviously impaired judgment, are played for humor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series pits celebs' strong personalities against each other in a competition for shared ownership of a new restaurant, so heated arguments laced with strong language ("damn," "ass," and "bitch," as well as bleeped "f--k" and "s--t") is commonplace. Attempts at teamwork and compromise often give way to name-calling and backbiting, and drinking is both a source of pleasure and a means of coping with stress. On a positive note, the show's judges recognize individuals' positive contributions -- like original ideas and peacemaking efforts.

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What's the story?

In FAMOUS FOOD, seven celebs compete for the approval of two renowned restaurateurs in a frenzied 28-day quest to turn a Hollywood eyesore into the latest dining hotspot, with the winner earning the rights to half of the eatery itself. The participants must work together to design the restaurant from the ground up, staying within a strict budget and often rolling up their own sleeves to keep the project on schedule. The contestant pool includes reality star Heidi Montag, notorious escort Ashley Dupre, Three 6 Mafia rappers DJ Paul and Juicy J, and former Bachelor Jake Pavelka.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's hard to feel invested in a group of outrageous celebrities raucously vying for a role that many of them could simply buy without a second thought. The show makes little attempt to downplay the catty behavior that erupts among the stars, and the extreme nature of the challenge encourages bubbling tempers, backbiting, and the blame game when things go wrong. There's some merit to the fact that the project's success hinges on the stars' ability to overcome their differences and work as a team and that individuals are singled out for positive contributions, but these fleeting moments usually take a backseat to the bickering.

 

The show also serves as a platform for the stars to exercise their inflated egos, which, despite their professed passion for the food industry, raises the question of whether this was their ultimate goal in joining the project in the first place. Heated arguments are smattered with strong language, and drinking on the job is a regular endeavor for a few of the stars. Ultimately, though, it's these same qualities that make the show a compelling guilty-pleasure watch for reality fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this show reflects reality. Do the participants' actions seem believable? Do you think they really care about whether they win? How would the show be different if the contestants were regular people rather than celebs? 

  • This series offers a glimpse into the world of starting a small business. What challenges face entrepreneurs? What additional restrictions are placed on owners in the food industry? Do you think the benefits outweigh the struggles?

  • Why does our society revere celebrities? What rules dictate who's a star? Does a star's bad behavior change his or her appeal? Do different rules apply for celebs than for average people?

TV details

Cast:Danielle Straub, Heidi Montag, Vincent Pastore
Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Famous Food was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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