MTV Suspect

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
MTV Suspect TV Poster Image
Confrontational show about friendship, self-acceptance.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Self-acceptance, communication, listening, friendship. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Friends want to help other friends; hosts are nonjudgmental.

Violence

Stories about fighting; occasionally people get annoyed.

Sex

Prostitution, STDs, porn discussed.

Language

"Piss," bleeped curses.

Consumerism

Fords, Cadillacs, Chevrolets visible; local hotels, restaurant logos shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking visible; concerns about substance abuse.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MTV Suspect, a spin-off of Catfish: The TV Show, contains positive messages about self-acceptance, open communication, and the importance of friendship. It also contains conversations about mature subjects such as eating disorders, prostitution, addiction, and porn. There's some bleeped cursing and occasional drinking (hard liquor), too. 

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What's the story?

MTV SUSPECT, a Catfish: The TV Show spin-off, is a reality series about helping concerned people who suspect a friend or family member is in some sort of trouble. Nev Schulman and co-host iO Tillett Wright start each mission with nothing but a notebook filled with minimal details provided by the "truth seeker" who has reached out to them for help. They then travel to the city where the individual is located and get more information about the situation by talking to friends, family, and, on occasion, local experts. At the end of the visit, they hope to facilitate communication between the truth seeker and the friend and provide resources that can help if necessary. Throughout it all they underscore how important it is for people to feel OK about being true to themselves, no matter who they are. Links to resources about some of the issues discussed are offered at the end of each mission.

Is it any good?

From eating disorders to gender transitioning, this sensational but pretty positive, nonjudgmental series focuses on helping younger adults from all walks of life be comfortable with who they are. It highlights the importance of open communication and finding support among friends and family who are willing to acknowledge and respect who they are. It also inspires empathy for those going through difficult or challenging periods in their lives.

Some may be a little uncomfortable with some of the calls to accept edgier life choices or behaviors (such as working in the porn industry). Meanwhile, the truth-telling moments are made more dramatic for the sake of entertainment. But overall it's a show designed to empower young people and to remind them that there are people out there who can understand what they're going through -- and are even willing to help.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they would do if they suspected someone they cared about of being in trouble or needing help. Is turning to a TV show such as this one an ideal way to help a friend or family member?

  • Listening and open communication are important, especially when talking about things such as drinking, smoking, and being sexually active, which the media often presents as being normal or popular behavior. What are some things that your family can do to make sure you can have these conversations openly? What's the best way to handle things if you disagree with what others are saying?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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