Leave It to Lamas

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Leave It to Lamas TV Poster Image
Yet another "famous" family overreaches for reality stardom.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Although the show's central drama concerns reuniting a fractured family and helping a father and son reconcile, the family's over-the-top antics tend to grab the spotlight instead.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some family members are generally positive role models, but others -- including the parents, who are supposed to be in charge -- leave a lot to be desired. The siblings seem to have a genuinely loving relationship, although relations with their parents can be strained.

Violence

Some verbal sparring and heated arguments.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo/discussion and occasional blurred/censored nudity (as when Mom takes her top off during a hot flash). A.J. and his father are estranged because A.J. was rumored to have had a sexual relationship with one of his father's ex-wives.

Language

Bleeped swearing ("f--k" and "s--t) plus audible words like "B.S.," "vagina," "dick," etc.

Consumerism

Some visible logos (including Diet Coke and Budweiser). The show is also an obvious promotional vehicle for the actors' flagging careers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters drink alcohol, with occasional overindulgence.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's not a whole lot in this "celebreality" show that's "good" for kids to see, although Shayne's attempts to repair her brother and father's fractured relationship is admirable. Sexual innuendo is pretty common, and there's also some censored nudity to watch out for (the kids' mom, in a menopausal hot flash, takes her top off in front of the refrigerator, etc.). Commercialism -- in terms of the family's efforts to boost their own careers -- is pretty obvous, too, but for the most part, it's kept on a low flame.

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What's the story?

In LEAVE IT TO LAMAS, cameras capture the ups and downs of the nontraditional Lamas clan -- a fractured family tree that stems from soap star/actor Lorenzo Lamas and his second ex-wife, Michele (he has four in all). Lamas's daughter, Shayne, admits that her dad's career has "seen better days," and the rest of the brood (including Shayne's older brother A.J. and younger half-sister Dakota) seems to have acting in their blood. So what better chance to seize the spotlight than star in a reality show that's exclusively about them?

Is it any good?

You've seen other shows on E! before about famous -- or marginally famous -- L.A. families and their "outrageous antics" (Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the equally unnecessary spin-off Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, anyone?). So the question is, why do we need another one? And the simple answer is: We really don't. But maybe this will catch on as a guilty pleasure. After all, somebody apparently liked watching the Kardashians, right?

In terms of stuff you want your kids to be watching, the guilty pleasure potential factor doesn't apply. Teens are bound to identify with Shayne (whose accomplishments include a stint on General Hospital and winning the 12th season of The Bachelor). But her worthiness as a role model is iffy at best. In the pilot episode alone, she claims that she eats lots of pineapple to keep her lady parts smelling good (who knew?) and gives up on spelling "menopause,” offering instead, "Ask me how to spell 'shoes.' Ask me how to spell 'lip gloss.' 'Cars,' 'money,' 'men,' 'sex' … I know how to spell those." Ugh. Can you spell "vapid" and "shallow"? We can.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the attraction of fame and celebrity. How do shows like this one help once-obscure figures become part of the popular culture again? How do Lorenzo Lamas and his family stand to benefit from this show's success?

  • How do Shayne, Dakota, and their mom, Michele, compare as female role models? Who do you relate to more? What about A.J. and his dad, Lorenzo?

  • How "real" do you think the family's antics are? How can you tell whether or not they're genuine?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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