Forever Young

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Forever Young TV Poster Image
Gimmicky reality series has a surprisingly positive message.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There's a little bit of stereotyping at the start. But the goal of the "experiment" is for participants to set their differences aside and achieve generational unity. Along the way, they learn from each other and emerge more open-minded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

On the surface, most of the participants seem like stereotypes. But they ultimately prove to be well-rounded, open-minded people who make meaningful changes in the way they view the world -- and each other.

Violence
Sex

Light sexual innuendo and some sexual humor. A young woman wears a skimpy bathing suit, an 83-year-old admits to wearing thongs, etc. Some discussion of "sexting."

Language

Both generations use words like "hell," "ass," "jackass," "crap." A few instances of bleeped swearing.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, with some drinking games like beer pong. Any drunkenness is played for humor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, in spite of a gimmicky premise and some participants who seem like obvious stereotypes, Forever Young imparts some surprisingly positive messages for viewers of all ages. That said, there's some light sexual innuendo and sexual humor (such as a comical discussion about "sexting"), as well as participants who discuss their sexual orientation. Both generations use words like "hell," "ass," "jackass," and "crap," with a few instances of bleeped swearing. There's some social drinking, too, with a few activities (like beer pong) that are geared toward overindulgence.

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What's the story?

Five unsuspecting 20-somethings show up to star in a reality show that finds them sharing a house with five seniors over 70, including an aging raquetball pioneer and a long-retired showgirl who loves Zumba. The televised "experiment" is designed to teach both groups how to be FOREVER YOUNG. But along the way, the participants also learn surprising truths about themselves -- and each other. Hosted by TV personality Mark L. Walberg (Antiques Roadshow), this series was produced by Punk'd partners Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg.

Is it any good?

On its face, Forever Young sounds like another groan-worthy "reality" series with a gimmick, a show that couldn't possibly yield anything worthwhile. The cast includes two groups -- the Juniors and the Seniors -- who represent an array of stereotypes, from an image-obsessed hottie who looks like a stray Kardashian to a set-in-his-ways curmudgeon who practically snaps "Get off my lawn!" But just when you think you know where the show's going (AKA nowhere fast), you find yourself rooting for members of both groups who make surprisingly meaningful connections that defy conventional age brackets -- and your own low expectations.

That's not to say this is award-worthy television. The format is far from original, complete with a corny game show challenge that's designed to reveal the gaps in each generation's pop culture knowledge. (And, of course, we've seen the whole different-people-living-under-the-same-roof approach way too many times before.) Yet what works here is the ability of both age groups to ultimately shed their presumptions and learn from each other, not as young people and old people, but as unlikely friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the so-called "generation gap" and the prejudices we often have about people who were born in a different time. Kids: Do you look up to your parents and grandparents, or do you think they're embarrassingly out of touch? Are there things you have in common that might surprise you?

  • How does Forever Young compare to other reality shows that ask a diverse group of people to live together under one roof? Does a show need to have catfights and drama to be entertaining?

  • Did the show's "experiment" seem real to you? How can you tell the difference between engineered drama and genuine emotion?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love reality shows

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