Fantasia for Real
By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Chaotic docuseries plays like a real big mess.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show paints a pretty messy picture when it comes to overall message, with lots of arguing and other shenanigans that have very little to do with Fantasia getting her life back on track.
Positive Role Models
Fantasia gets points for working hard to earn a living and wanting to earn her G.E.D. But most of the time, she doesn't seem to have her life completely figured out. She spends lavishly on her daugher out of love, but she's the only one in her family who has a paying job. No one else in her family works, and they rely on her for everything. Her brother Teeny is purposefully reckless when it comes to money.
Violence & Scariness
Fantasia's family members often end up yelling at each other to get a point across, and in at least one one scene, there's some physical piling-on that seems playful. The series may or may not mention it, but Fantasia was also the victim of rape in high school, an incident she wrote about in her memoir Life Is Not a Fairy Tale.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The series mentions that Fantasia had her daughter Zion out of wedlock when she was 16.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Audible words like "hell," "damn" and "B.S.," plus some bleeped swearing (think "f--k") -- although it's rare.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The series functions as a long-form commercial for Fantasia's career, and the name of the potential first single from her new album is mentioned several times. Some other brands are also mentioned, including American Girl and Ferrari.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Fantasia and her family have wine and mixed drinks in social settings, usually in a responsible way.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
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?
- Premiere date: January 11, 2010
- Cast: Fantasia Barrino
- Network: VH1
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Movies About Musicians
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate