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 while the subject matter of this nighttime soap opera -- models and fashion design -- might attract teens' attention, the storylines aren't meant for young viewers. The various plots include a wife dealing with her husband's adultery (as well as other characters indulging in affairs and hook-ups, many of which are motivated by anything but affection), a desperate executive pimping herself to a debtor, and aspiring models willing to do whatever it takes to rise to the top of the industry. It's campy and over the top, but it's still pretty mature content.
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What's the story?
Nighttime soap opera FASHION HOUSE tells the passion-and-intrigue-soaked tale of Maria Gianni (Bo Derek), a ruthless fashion mogul who has to defend her company from an upstart designer with bottomless talent. Maria is a cutthroat designer who rules her company with an iron fist, but she ends up getting blackmailed by William (Joel Berti) -- a powerful executive to whom Maria owes a great deal of money -- after he discovers that she's been stealing from the trust fund of her artist son, Luke (Taylor Kinney). Complicating Maria's situation is the ascent of Michelle Miller (Natalie Martinez), a gifted designer who rediscovers her talent after finding out that her husband, Lance (Mike Begovich), is cheating on her. And then there's Maria's wealthy archrival, Sophia Blakeley (Morgan Fairchild), who would like nothing better than to see Maria brought down. Rounding out the cast are Nikki Clark (Nicole Pulliam), a successful model intent on keeping her spot as Gianni's top looker; Gloria (Donna Feldman), Lance's sexy co-worker; and Harold and Hans (Garrett Swann and Tony Tripoli), Gianni Inc. designers whose successful run at the company seems to be coming to an end.
Is it any good?
Like any good soap opera, Fashion House certainly has enough eye candy to make up for its stale, good vs. bad storyline and trite dialogue (in one scene, Gianni barks at an eager assistant, "There's no smoking in this office, so stop blowing smoke up my ass"). But given the characters' scantily-clad, bed-hopping, back-stabbing ways, parents would be wise to approach this one with caution. Older teens will be able to see through the glossy depiction of the Gianni fashion empire and appreciate the show's guilty pleasure aspects, but younger viewers might not be able to see past the glitz and glamour.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ambition. Why do some people cheat to get ahead? Why doesn't everyone just take the easy road to success? Are any of the characters in this show admirable in any way? Why or why not? Families can also talk about the telenovela format in general. How is this show similar to and different from the hugely popular Spanish telenovelas? Do you think it's going to catch on the way those shows do?
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