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Fantasia for Real
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this docuseries about American Idol alum Fantasia Barrino includes some bleeped swearing (a few instances of "f--k"), and Fantasia's family spends a good deal of time in heated discussion. You'll also hear words like "hell," "damn" and "B.S." and see some iffy behavior on the part of Fantasia's older brother Teeny, who resists family pressure that he get a paying job, preferring instead to make unauthorized renovations to his poolhouse recording studio. But most of all, the series functions as a long-playing commercial for Fantasia and her upcoming album ... so kids who watch the show are likely to end up wanting to buy her music.
What's the story?
American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino attempts to get her career -- and her personal life -- back on track in FANTASIA FOR REAL, a docuseries that shadows the singer as she prepares to release her third studio album. But a few members of her family could be holding her back ... namely her older brother Teeny, who's happy to live off of his sister's unpredictable income and spend money he doesn't really have. As Fantasia works to balance her roles as a peformer, daughter, sister, and mother to 8-year-old Zion, she looks to her own mother and Aunt Bunny -- the so-called "Madea" of the family -- for support. But she doesn't always get it.
Is it any good?
On the surface, this series about a struggling single mother who grew up singing in church, dropped out of high school, and now works to support her large family as the sole breadwinner sounds like it could be inspirational. But the results are disjointed and chaotic -- so much so that you want to give the family some privacy so they can really get their lives back together.
It's also painfully obvious that the series was pitched to get Fantasia's face back in the public eye, just in time for the release of her brand-new album. Maybe this is Fantasia ... and maybe what we see is for real. But it doesn't make very good television.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism and how the show's success might affect the sales of Fantasia's new album. Did you know who Fantasia was before you watched the show? Now that you've seen it, are you more likely to buy her music?
When it comes to her career struggles, do you think Fantasia was a victim of her surroundings, or did she play a part in running her career off course? Does her desire to make changes seem sincere? Do you think she'll succeed?
How does Fantasia compare to other American Idol winners in terms of her public persona and her success? Do you consider her to be a positive or a negative role model?