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Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair
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 this reality dating competition attempts to help a 31-year-old man who still lives in his parents' basement find "true love." The female competitors -- who were selected through an audition process -- tend to wear revealing clothing and use their sexuality to try to win Frank over. There's also some crass language, including bleeped swearing (think "f--k"), that comes from both the contestants and Frank's parents. There's also some occasional drinking (and suggested drunkenness), although everyone is of age.
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What's the story?
With his larger-than-life mother watching his every move, VH1 reality regular Frank "The Entertainer" Maresca (of I Love New York and I Love Money "fame") attempts to find true love among a pool of 15 prospective girlfriends who are competing for his affections. But the joke's on the ladies in waiting when they're sent to Frank's parents' surburban home instead of an opulent mansion. Why? Because that's where Frank lives ... in the basement. Over the course of 10 episodes, the women attempt to charm Frank into giving them a "Key to His Basement," which symbolizes the key to his heart.
Is it any good?
Forget the fact that the title of this train wreck of a reality dating competition sounds like a porn film. There's a long list of other reasons why it isn't worth your -- or your teens' -- time. For one thing, Frank is pretty much famous for sucking on Tiffany "New York" Pollard's toes in the equally trashy VH1 reality show I Love New York. And most of the competitors on this show have to be in it for their 15 minutes of fame.
As if all that weren't enough, there's also the unavoidable reality that this "reality" show is so painfully scripted and set up that it's actually wince-inducing. If that's not enough to convince you, there's always the show's theme song ... which is sung by "The Entertainer" himself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why these types of reality competitions seem to be so popular when everyone knows that they rarely result in true love. Why do audiences find these shows appealing? Do you think anyone involved expects a meaningful relationship to result from all the hoopla?
In terms of this show, what role does sex seem to play in dating and relationships? Does Frank seem more interested in certain young women because he finds them sexually attractive? Are others discounted because they aren't as openly sexual?
To what extent has Frank's parents' house been set up to double as a reality show set? What other aspects of the show seem staged -- or at least less than real?
For kids who love reality TV
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