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 audience-driven reality competition airs live four nights a week over the course of a single month. (So if there are things you find questionable in terms of content, prepare for an onslaught.) You'll also hear a little potty talk and some bleeped cursing and see heated arguments that occasionally get physical between celebrity contestants. Stars' motives range from true (thank you, Lou Diamond Phillips) ... to blatantly fame-seeking (we're looking at you, Spencer Pratt).
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What's the story?
I'M A CELEBRITY ... GET ME OUT OF HERE! sends 11 stars of varying degrees of fame (including reality show veterans Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of The Hills and the wife of disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich) to the Costa Rican jungle, where they'll fend for themselves in a live, Survivor-style elimination contest that's ultimately decided by viewers at home. The show is a revamp of a British series by the same name.
Is it any good?
As far as entertainment value goes, this reality-show "pleasure" is as guilty as sin. Sure, there's a touchy-feely aspect to a contest that donates money to the winning celeb's charity of choice. But most people tuning in are hoping for a train-wreck -- or two, or three -- and they're likely to get what they came for.
After all, it's both shocking and unsurprising that, in today's instant-fame age, the wife of a fallen former governor (who still gets visibly upset when she has to talk about her husband's involvement in a widely publicized "pay-to-play" scandal) would agree to appear on a reality show that pokes subtle fun at her family's foibles. In this case, reality seems stranger than fiction.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why producers chose these particular celebrities -- and why the stars would agree to participate in the first place. Do you think they're playing along for the sheer sake of donating to a charity, or are they being paid for their televised appearances? Which stars seem genuine -- and which seem like they're putting on a show?