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 the main character on this reality show -- a bossy real estate investor -- frequently has verbal clashes with his staff. The show is set in wealthy Los Angeles, and a good part of the program is devoted to discussing money -- how much houses, repairs, and amenities cost -- as well as showing luxurious homes, cars, and furnishings. Some social drinking and frequent mild profanity ("hell," "screw,") with occasional stronger words bleeped.
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What's the story?
FLIPPING OUT follows real estate investor Jeff Lewis as he buys, renovates, and sells properties in the Los Angeles area. Helping Jeff with his personal and professional errands are a motley group of staffers, from executive assistant Jenni to Zoila, the housekeeper who cares for his spoiled pets.
Is it any good?
Flipping Out is an extended profile of quirky, anxious Jeff, a self-proclaimed obsessive-compulsive, who makes onerous demands of his staff and can explode over a tiny missed detail. But despite his challenging personality, he's an appealing character and seems to have real affection for his colleagues. Watching Jeff and his staff work together (and clash frequently) is only part of the show's appeal. The Los Angeles backdrop, with its luxury mansions and ubiquitous palm trees, serves as delicious eye candy. Jeff's reliance on psychics and spiritual guides adds an additional idiosyncratic element to the workplace, and watching Jeff and his staff enjoy and/or endure the New Age input is entertaining.
Most young folks will be bored by the show's real estate focus, as well as Jeff's personal and professional problems. If they do find something appealing here, know that they'll also see frequent power struggles and heated arguments and hear mild profanity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why shows about houses and real estate are so popular. Do you think viewers learn anything useful from these programs, or is it mostly just vicarious living? Do you feel like you have a sense of how the real estate business works after watching?
Families can also discuss being a boss. What's it like to be in charge of other people? What kind of boss do teens or parents like to work with? What personality traits make for a good manager?