I Want to Work for Diddy

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
I Want to Work for Diddy TV Poster Image
High-drama reality contest pushes the Diddy brand.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some contestants are strong role models; others aren't. On the plus side, the pool of prospective assistants is extremely diverse.

Violence

A few verbal exchanges toe the line between argumentative and abusive.

Sex

One of the contestants is a transgendered woman.

Language

Competitors often swear at each other out of frustration -- and Diddy does the same. Words like "damn" and "hell" are audible, but "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Most challenges include not-so-subtle promotions of Diddy's media empire, and contestants communicate with Blackberry phones provided by Verizon. Several other name brands are mentioned, including Ciroc vodka, Quicksilver, and Diddy's own Diddy.com.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, amid all the drama and name-calling, teens might actually find a few positive role models in this reality competition. That said, there are also a few contestants you wouldn't want anyone to emulate, so some caution might be wise. And although words like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped, you'll hear them several times per episode. The show also promotes several arms of Combs' media empire, including Bad Boy Records (music) and Sean John (fashion).

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What's the story?

In I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY, 13 hopefuls competing to be Sean "Diddy" Combs' new assistant are put to the test in a slew of team and individual challenges designed to separate the weak from the strong. The contestant pool -- a diverse bunch to say the least -- includes a transgendered woman named Laverne, a full-figured go-getter who calls herself "Po-Prah" (a self-described "Big Girl w/ Big Skills"), and an Iraq war veteran. Evaluating their performances are Capricorn, Diddy's former assistant who's now the director of marketing for Sean John; Phil Robinson, Diddy's former manager; and Kevin Liles, the executive vice president for Warner Music Group. Combs' own personal appearances are rare, but he adds occasional insights via pre-recorded interviews that are spliced into the action.

Is it any good?

Just as Combs has many names, he's also many things -- including a designer, producer, aspiring actor, and father of six. But, above all, he's an expert promoter. (He's also hip to the power of television when it comes to plugging his products, thanks to the success of his Making the Band reality franchise.) In fact, that's the true genius behind I Want to Work for Diddy: It not only showcases several of Diddy's marquee brands, it also positions him as a godfather-esque mogul who makes things happen. It promotes several products at once -- including the man himself.

Of course, I Want to Work for Diddy isn't just about blatant promotion; it's also about giving one lucky young person a thankless job that could lead to bigger and better things. But applicants be warned: The road to success is more often than not paved with humbling tasks like picking up Combs' dry cleaning or auditioning a clown for one of his kids' birthday parties. The glamorous stuff comes later. Much, much later.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sacrifices that some people make to hang on to the job of their dreams -- and whether it's always worth it. If you had the chance to work for Diddy, would you do anything he asked you to do? Is there anything you wouldn't do, even if refusing to do it meant that you would lose you job? Where and how would you draw the line? Parents and kids can also discuss the reasons that a show like this might have been created. Do you think Diddy really needed a TV show to find a new assistant? If not, what other motives could he have?

TV details

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