Parents' Guide to

Famous in 12

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

TMZ-sponsored reality experiment sends the wrong messages.

TV CW Reality TV 2014
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A Lot or a Little?

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

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If you thought Keeping Up with the Kardashians was as obnoxious as reality entertainment could go, then you haven't given Famous in 12 a chance. The similarities between the two shows are no accident, of course, what with an enabling manager/mom and her three drop-dead gorgeous daughters whose brazenness in front of the camera knows no bounds. But, whereas the Kardashian clan's notoriety is already sealed up, this family proves they're willing to do and say anything to anyone who will help them achieve the same level of intrigue, and that includes viewers like you and your teens. After all, their ultimate success is gauged by how many people find them interesting enough to follow their antics on social media.

The show has one thing going for it: Everyone involved is brutally honest about their intentions from the get-go. Puppeteer Levin is willing to pull strings for the wannabes because, as he says, they're shameless enough to stand a chance of succeeding in a society that measures fame by shock value rather than talent. Jameelah openly covets how Kim Kardashian turned an X-rated tape into global fame and is hopeful for a similar break. And Angie acknowledges that actively parenting her daughters prevents her from furthering their, um, "careers." In other words, family values have little place in this Hollywood home, and these characters have nothing positive to teach your teens, except what not to do. Need another reason to skip it? Its self-serving reliance on social media for the characters' running popularity stats raises all kinds of issues about how the cyber world can be used to make or break a person's impression of self-worth.

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