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 Lip Sync Battle Shorties is a reality series hosted by Nick Cannon and internet personality JoJo Siwa in which tweens perform to their favorite pop songs. Each episode features three contestants who lip sync and dance alongside backup performers, competing for audience applause that determines a winner. The show is mostly innocuous, save for some suggestive dance moves copied from celebrity performers, and it can be fun for youngsters to watch (and for parents, decidedly less so).
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What's the story?
LIP SYNC BATTLE SHORTIES is a reality series that pits tweens against each other in stage performances in front of a live audience. Hosted by Nick Cannon and inspired by the original Lip Sync Battle, each episode of the show introduces three amateur competitors who lip sync their respective favorite pop songs with the help of a backup cast called the Shorties Dance Crew. Using audience applause to gauge their success, Cannon and his sidekick, internet personality JoJo Siwa, award the coveted Iced Out Mic to the day's winner.
Is it any good?
This spin-off lacks the star power and comical edge that its predecessor and namesake boast, leaving it feeling rather mundane and under-produced by comparison. Cannon is predictably at ease onstage and with the tween competitors, and there's some fun in watching the kids envision their performance and bring it to fruition. But as soon as the music starts and the cameras pan out, lip syncing yields to a broader stage act that incorporates lights, costumes, and a dozen or so performers, and the whole production -- billed as a lip sync contest -- feels rather gimmicky.
On the upside, Lip Sync Battle Shorties celebrates self-expression and puts a spotlight on kids who are eager to follow their dreams. Most seem impervious to any kind of stage fright or worries over their performance, focusing instead on the excitement of the opportunity. For young viewers with the performance bug in particular, the show could inspire new ideas or goals in that regard, or more generally a broad sense of the importance of following your dreams.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how it feels to be judged on a performance or a skill. In what ways does it take courage and fortitude to put yourself in a position like what these amateurs do? What can experiencing something like Lip Sync Battle Shorties teach you about yourself?
Are these tweens positive role models? If so, in what ways? What qualities are important to you in a role model? How does it feel when someone you admire disappoints you?
How real is reality TV? Does this series oversimplify the rehearsal and production process of its performances? Can we always believe what we see in the media? What are the dangers of doing so?
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