Hammertime

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Hammertime TV Poster Image
M.C. Hammer as a dad, dancer, and digital entrepreneur.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots of positive messages about family, education, and being healthy. The Burrells have been married for more than 23 years; both are hands-on parents, and they expect their children to behave, get good grades, and be good people. References are made to Burrell’s past financial mismanagement; the artist claims to have “learned from his mistakes."

Violence

Burrell occasionally makes references to growing up in violent neighborhoods, including Brentwood, Calif.

Sex

Some mild sexual innuendo. Burrell’s cousin makes occasional lighthearted references about being a “ladies man,” while Jamaris thinks about going to college to meet co-eds. Some of the dance moves shown include pelvic thrusting.

Language

Mild; the closest thing to audible cursing is the word “dang."

Consumerism

Burrell is a social media entrepreneur and uses the series to promote his Web site (DanceJam.com), the Hammertime iPhone application, social media label “FullBlast," his Twitter account, and his Facebook and MySpace pages. M.C. Hammer’s music is consistently heard throughout the show; occasionally memorabilia is shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this family-friendly reality series -- which follows Stanley Burrell (aka musical legend M.C. Hammer) as he balances his family and career -- has positive messages about family, education, and maintaining a strong work ethic. That said, the show is also an obvious promotional vehicle for Burrell's various online commercial outlets, and it encourages viewers to participate in social media networks like Twitter and Facebook in order to stay connected with him. Parents may want to monitor if/how their kids are tapping into the show's interactive nature.

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What's the story?

HAMMERTIME follows the life of Stanley Burrell -- aka 1990s music star M.C. Hammer -- as he juggles being a full-time dad, musician, and social media entrepreneur. Along for the ride are his long-time wife, Stephanie, and their family, including 21-year-old daughter A'Keiba, 18-year-old nephew Jamaris, 15-year-old Sarah, 13-year-old Stanley Jr., 10-year-old Jeremiah, and 3-year-old Samuel. When he isn't helping his clan clean the house, finish their homework, or explore their own talents, the music icon performs at concerts, keeps up with speaking engagements, and manages his various online ventures.

Is it any good?

This lighthearted show uses humor and sensitivity to highlight the importance of family, education, and maintaining a physically, emotionally, and financially healthy lifestyle. It also serves as a giant promotional vehicle for Burrell's social media empire, including the Hammertime iPhone application and his latest social media labels. He openly discusses how he uses his Facebook and MySpace pages to connect with his fans and uses his Twitter account to post updates throughout each episode.

While the show often appears staged for the cameras, it succeeds in creating a positive, appealing viewing experience that taps into the digitally interactive nature of today's up-and-coming M.C. Hammer fans. It also creates a fun and nostalgic experience for older ones. As a result, the series is both commercially creative and a fun viewing experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's really possible to live an “ordinary” life after being so famous. Do you think Burrell’s decision to star in his own reality show is an attempt to revive his music career, or are there are other reasons? Families can also discuss social media. Are online media platforms a good way to connect with people? What are the benefits? Drawbacks?

TV details

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