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 show includes a lot of drinking, as well as struggles with alcoholism. Expect lots of personal revelations about battles with addiction and other serious diseases. There are occasional sexist remarks and sexual innuendoes, as well as scenes with scantily clad women and provocative dancing. Lots of brand names appear, and profanity is frequent.
What's the story?
MISSION MAN BAND documents the journey of four boy band has-beens as they live together for three weeks and try to revive their musical careers. They are the less-familiar names and faces from bands like *NSync (Chris Kirkpatrick), 98 Degrees (Jeff Timmons), LFO (Rich Cronin), and Color Me Badd (Bryan Abrams). Most have struggled since the boy band popularity peaked and waned. Two battle alcoholism, one is in remission from leukemia, and the last has found success behind the scenes in the music business. The four men must deal with their bruised egos as they encounter attitude from their hard-hitting manager and a sometimes-disparaging public.
Is it any good?
While several of the men have high hopes for this venture, it's hard not to feel sad for the guys -- they come off as genuine, but, unfortunately, pathetic. So, instead of hoping for success along with the guys, viewers are instead voyeurs to their sad struggles. Abrams tries to maintain his sobriety in a house full of booze; when he stumbles, viewers know what's at stake: his infant daughter and pregnant wife back home. This isn't a guilty pleasure; it's a crying shame.
Plenty of sexism and sexual innuendo pepper the show. But instead of the guys' comments about breasts and penis size being macho bravado, they come off as retaliatory and another way to mask their shame at being such failures. Teens who watch will see a good deal of drinking (as well as its repercussions) and women wearing little clothing and sometimes throwing themselves at the men, who still hold a modicum of appeal for fame-seekers. Jokes about breasts, penises, and sex in general fly frequently, and profanity is plentiful.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about voyeurism. How does it feel to watch someone on television reveal highly personal information or undergo difficult struggles? When is the experience pleasurable, and when isn't it? How do the men on the show handle revealing their personal information? Would you ever consider being on a reality show? If so, do you think it would be possible to maintain your dignity?