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First Class All the Way
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 it's unlikely that kids will want to emulate the fancy lifestyles celebrated in this reality show about a woman who helps wealthy people take extravagant vacations. (Unless you have a child who'd kill to stay in a stuffy hotel suite modeled after one used by Marie Antoinette or learn how to cook sea bass from a chef at one of Paris' finest kitchens.) But the not-so-subtle promotion of high-end brands like Valentino, Manolo Blahnik, and Ritz Paris should certainly give mom and dads pause. Language is less of a problem, as swear words are rare. Characters are shown drinking alcohol, but only in social situations.
What's the story?
The rich and famous are taking extremely expensive vacations in FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY, a reality series that follows the day-to-day dealings of elite travel concierge Sara Ryan-Duffy, owner of SRD International. As Ryan-Duffy works to establish her Los Angeles-based travel-planning business at home and abroad, her harried staff makes sure that her well-connected clients are getting VIP treatment, which means they never have to lift a finger -- or a piece of luggage.
Is it any good?
In the midst of uncertain economic times, First Class All the Way offers an escape for everyday folks who are fretting about their 401Ks or plummeting home values. But in spite of all the glitz and glamour, Ryan-Duffy's world reveals itself to be rather boring. Take the series pilot -- which should, in theory, be the episode that grabs viewers and hooks them for the long haul: Ryan-Duffy sends a group of her friends (who could very well be casting rejects from The Real Housewives of Orange County) on an exclusive jaunt to Paris and Monte Carlo. But instead of wishing you could be there with them, driving luxury cars and rubbing elbows with the likes of Prince Albert, you end up wishing they'd do something -- anything -- that was actually worth watching.
As the glue that holds the series together, Ryan-Duffy herself is surprisingly un-compelling. (Need a visual? Most of the time, she has the personality of a walnut.) Her staff is only slightly more watchable. But how many office arguments will it take to save this ho-hum series from crashing and burning?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the cost associated with taking luxury vacations like the ones featured on the show. Is spending large sums of money on high-end travel something a lot of people can afford to do, or is it only an option for a small percentage of the population? What do you think draws people to watch shows like this? Also, if money were no object and you could plan the ultimate escape, where would you want to go? Do you have to spend a lot of money to have a memorable vacation? What types of fun things could you and your family do for little or no money?