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 the reality series L.A. Shrinks, which features therapists conducting sessions and dealing with problems in their individual personal lives, contains a lot of sexual content, including blunt conversations about sexual activity, crude sexual references, and conversations about how to alleviate these problems. Issues like rage and homophobia are also discussed. The language is pretty strong, too. Drinking and cigarette smoking is frequent. The series doesn't offer constructive advice, and is not intended for kids.
What's the story?
L.A. SHRINKS is a reality series that features three high-end Los Angeles therapists working with clients while figuring out their own personal lives. It stars blunt human behaviorist Venus Nicolino, cognitive therapist Greg Cason, and Eris Huemer, who specializes in relationship problems. Cameras roll as the therapists each meet with select clients to help them work through things like anger management, intimacy problems, and coming to terms with their own sexuality. But outside of their offices, each of the therapists are working through conflicts in their own personal lives.
Is it any good?
L.A. Shrinks offers an intimate look at the lives of the three upscale therapists to underscore the idea that they deal with the same kinds of behavioral issues and problems as their clients in their daily lives. Adding to the drama are the therapy sessions between each of the therapists and some of their select clients, in which very intimate issues are discussed. To link the two, the therapists often draw parallels between what their clients are dealing with, and the problems they are facing in their own personal lives.
Like most reality shows, L.A. Shrinks attempts to create voyeuristic entertainment from moments that would normally be very private. But what is troubling here is that many of these intimate moments are drawn from seemingly professional therapy sessions, the effectiveness of which usually relies on privacy to be successful. The result is a series that sends problematic messages about what therapy is really about, while offering TV audiences a chance to satisfy their desire for a guilty pleasure with lots of salacious content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people agree to talk about their personal problems on a reality series. Why do you think these therapists agreed to work with clients on camera? Are these clients even real? Is this is an appropriate thing for therapists to do, even when their clients agree to it? Do you think their decision to appear on this show will have consequences on their practice?
Who is the audience for this show? How can you tell?
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