A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The positive message is loud and clear: People are worth getting to know if you take the time to look past outward appearances. Although earlier rounds tend to focus on superficial factors for dismissal ("She sort of had that goth look ... if i was standing next to her in line at a store, she might give me the evil eye or even like punch me"), as the game progresses, the audience takes a variety of factors into consideration. One woman is cut, for instance, because she "didn't seem like she could make decisions for herself."
Positive Role Models
As the rounds progress, the general pattern is for those with negative traits to get booted from the competition and those with positive tendencies to stay in -- although there are always a few exceptions. Most women aim for honesty instead of perfection, so they admit to making mistakes they aren't proud of. But, sometimes, those mistakes include major ethical blunders -- ike stealing or lying to a loved one.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There isn't constant sexual innuendo, but some questions do center on sex, either in the context of a committed relationship or adultery -- or both. (For example, if you woke up the morning after your bachelorette party next to a stranger and weren't sure whether you slept with him or not, would you tell anyone?) One contestant describes witnessing a violent rape outside her window that prompted her to call the police, and another is revealed to be transgendered.
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"Suck" and "pissed" are about as strong as it gets, and even those words are rare. There's also some use of descriptive terms like "boughetto" (a blend of "bourgeoise" and "ghetto").
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Products & Purchases
Some cross-promotion with other WE brands, including the reality show Bridezillas.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some contestants mention incidents involving alcohol, usually in the context of consuming too much and regretting it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game show is aimed squarely at adult women -- but that doesn't mean that parents can't watch with their teens. It might even ignite some revealing conversations about the concept of popularity and what types of qualities make women "likable." Conversatons occasionally touch on cheeky topics like sex tapes or random hook-ups, but for the most part, women answer less-scintillating questions about religion/spirituality, community service, and self-esteem. Language, alcohol, and drugs are essentially non-issues.
Is It Any Good?
While the show's concept is certainly provocative, Most Popular loses something in the mix. Perhaps it's the set and the lighting, which conjure the feel of a downmarket talk show (think Maury or Jerry Springer, minus the hand-to-hand combat). Or perhaps it's the contestants themselves, some of whom seem like they could easily hold their own on one of the previously mentioned talk shows if this gig doesn't work out.
Whatever the reason, Most Popular is the kind of show that's reasonably entertaining if there's nothing else on. And it does imparts an important take-away message: Don't judge a book by its cover. Still, for most, it will never be appointment television.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.