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 series about a team of skilled auto mechanics that rebuilds cars doesn't have too much content that parents are likely to object to; some scenes feature drinking, and the main cast members do their share of bickering, but there's no sex or violence to speak of. Because all of the show's participants live and work in and around Detroit, the series also includes details about how their lives have been affected by the slumping auto industry -- some are unemployed, and many are struggling. Overall, the show's mechanical details will be interesting to viewers who are interested in cars, while the personal details add some depth.
What's the story?
In MOTOR CITY MOTORS, siblings Dave and James Kaye -- aka the Detroit Brothers -- head up a team of skilled mechanics who have five days to design and build one-of-a-kind automobiles. The show follows along as they bicker over the plans and then try to turn their artistic vision into a working vehicle, whether the assignment is to convert an old Model T into a hot rod or to turn a huge GMC Suburban into a pothole filler. Set in Detroit, the show features a rotating cast of veteran autoworkers and often delves into their personal lives to show how the flagging U.S. car industry and the city's slumping economy have affected their lives.
Is it any good?
The mechanics' personal stories are what make Motor City Motors better than the average automotive reality series. Sure, it’s plenty interesting to see the skilled workers in their element, debating the merits of cut-outs and chopped cabs and air scoops and then turning a totally ordinary vehicle into a high-performance ride.
But there are many shows that let viewers see all that. This series turns the city of Detroit into an unofficial cast member -- and not an especially upbeat one. The slumping auto industry has taken a toll on both the city’s economy and on the show's participants. Though all of them are very good at what they do, several are struggling. Some are unemployed, and all of them seem worried about their future prospects. Even the Kayes' highly regarded custom shop is on the verge of failure. Watching these talented people at work is a treat, but it's a sad testament to the global economy that their valuable skills might not be enough to earn a living.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of reality shows like this one. Many other series have been made about groups of people who work on cars, motorcycles, etc. -- what's the draw of these shows? How does this one compare to the others?
Teens and tweens: Are you interested in working on cars? Does watching this show inspire you to tinker on a car? Or does the sometimes-bleak economic situation seen here make you want to consider a different career path?
What do you think about the way the show presents the U.S.
auto industry? How have the fortunes of the major car companies
affected the people on the show?
For kids who love reality TV
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.