From G's to Gents
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gritty reality show teaches bad boys good lessons.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series portrays the "gangster" image as both negative and stereotypical. Participants learn to be better men by learning life skills like basic manners, good communication, professionalism, etc. While some of their motivation is driven by greed, many of the contestants want to change their lives around. Contestants occasionally make racist remarks about other contestants. There's also class-based stereotyping among contestants. The men are from various racial/ethnic backgrounds. Most of them come from lower-income inner-city communities.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of yelling and arguing between cast members; occasionally contestants threaten to punch out or "whack" a fellow contestant. Cst members occasionally push and shove each other. But violence is not treated as acceptable behavior.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some references to being "sexy." Participants make suggestive comments about Bentley's assistant; one makes a lewd comment about her breasts using the word "tits." Several of the contestants refer to themselves as "pimps."
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Audible language includes words like "piss" and "hell." Curse words like "s--t" and "f--k" are frequently used but bleeped out.
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Products & Purchases
Tag Body Spray is one of the show's sponsors; Bentley is featured in at least one Tag commercial during the show's run. Labels on beer bottles, etc. are covered, although the brands are still identifiable.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking, alcohol consumption (beer, hard liquor), and drunken behavior are prominently visible. Subtle references to drug dealing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality competition series -- in which men compete for a cash prize by transforming their inner-city "gangster" image into one that's more gentleman-like -- promotes the idea that living or acting like a gangster is a negative choice that can keep people from bettering their lives. While there's some greedy behavior, most of the contestants treat the experience as a chance to improve their lives. Expect lots of strong language (though words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped), drinking, smoking, and other iffy behavior. Some of the contestants' conversations touch on subjects like prostitution, drug dealing, and other crimes. But these actions aren't treated as acceptable, and contestants are challenged to change this behavior.
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What's the Story?
FROM G'S TO GENTS follows 14 self-described \"G's\" (men who think that being hard and tough is the solution to all situations) as they attempt to transition from bad boy to gentleman -- and win $100,000. The streetwise guys start by joining a fictitious but exclusive Los Angeles \"gentlemen's club\" hosted by stylish hip-hop artist Fonzworth Bentley. Then, with the help of life and style coaches -- as well as some well-known music artists -- the contestants learn life skills ranging from basic table etiquette to professionalism. They then must apply their new skills in a series of challenges. Each week the cast has a chance to vote someone out of the club. The three who get the most votes must face Bentley, who decides which unfortunate fellow's membership will be revoked. The last remaining member wins the prize.
Is It Any Good?
The show, which is produced by award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, sets itself apart from most other hip-hop-oriented shows by not glorifying the male "gangster" image and suggesting that choosing the gangster lifestyle (or even just looking like one) provides an "easy out" for guys who are intimidated by trying to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones. The series also promotes the idea that a man's self-esteem can be built up through education. While many of the contestants take advantage of these lessons, a few miss the mark and attempt to scheme their way toward the cash instead. And others fall back into some bad habits, which include threatening people and drinking heavily.
Granted, watching some of these rough guys navigate awkwardly through cricket matches and wine tastings can be funny to watch. But these moments give participants a chance to realize that there are alternative ways to experience the world. It also sends the message that if they choose to work hard for it, they can be part of a society in which they'll be respected for making positive contributions rather than intimidating people. And while these positive take-aways make the show worthwhile viewing for teens and adults, some of its content -- from lewd comments to swearing to gritty personal stories of life on the streets -- makes it iffy for younger viewers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the different ways that the media can be used to help educate viewers. What kinds of lessons is this show trying to teach? Are they only applicable to people who embrace the "gangster" image? What does that image represent? Is it stereotypical? Do you think the media (music videos, for example) generally promotes this image as a positive thing?
- Premiere date: July 15, 2008
- Cast: Fonzworth Bentley
- Network: MTV
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
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