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 series takes place inside Diane & Co., a family-run dress shop in New Jersey, and functions as a long-form commercial for the business as well as a not-so-subtle reinforcement of New Jersey stereotypes. Employees sometimes use sexually suggestive language when dressing customers, like "boobs" or "bootie pop," and have the tendency to ramp into verbal sparring when they're trying to express their feelings. Bleeped swearing isn't constant, but it does happen, and characters sometimes use borderline terms like "crap" and "pissy."
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What's the story?
Women come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. But the common goal is getting gorgeous in JERSEY COUTURE, a reality series that centers on the day to day goings-on at Diane & Co., a "unique boutique" and dress shop in Freehold, N.J. The business is owned and operated by the Scali family -- matriarch Diane Scali, daughters Kimberly and Chrissy, son Anthony, and largely silent-partner pop Sal -- and caters to clients looking for special occasion gowns for weddings, bar mitzvahs, Sweet 16's and prom.
Is it any good?
There's a moment in Jersey Couture when shop owner Diane is convincing a customer that she looks "gooorgeous" in a dress. And it's really quite a moment, with Diane -- a self-proclaimed "boobologist" (that's someone who's good at making women's breasts look good) -- dancing around in jubilant gyration while she crows the words "Booty pop! ... Pop! Pop!" Her daughter Chrissy looks both bemused and embarrassed, but also thoroughly entertained. And we know right then and there that these women make good TV.
Were the Scalis chosen because they live in New Jersey? And because they're loud and brash with a taste for big hair, sequins, and heavy daytime make-up? In a reality TV climate that includes Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, those assets were likely in their favor. But when it comes down to it, they're also extremely likeable. And we kind of hope they stick around.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the particular appeal of this family and their business. Why do you think they were chosen for their own reality show? Do they represent any popular stereotypes? Do their actions serve to shatter those stereotypes in any way, or do they merely reinforce them?
How does this show promote consumerism when it comes to formal wear? Will having a reality show benefit the business in any way? Is there any potential for the show to hurt business?
What messages is the show sending about the importance of family when it comes to running a successful business? What are the downsides to working with your mother, father, brother, and sisters as opposed to traditional co-workers? What are the advantages?
For kids who love reality television
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