MTV Unplugged

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
MTV Unplugged TV Poster Image
Fun acoustic performances with some mature lyrics.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Music is a creative outlet that can communicate and express. Lyrics contain messages relating to love, loss, friendship, and other issues. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each band/musician features a unique style of music and performance. 


Occasionally lyrics refer to violent events or guns. 


Some lyrics contain sexual content. 


Some strong words here and there. Curses muted. 


Series serves as a promotional vehicle for the featured acts; some performances coincide with song/album releases. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to drugs, drinking, etc. in lyrics. Occasionally alcohol, smoking is visible during a performance or in a subsequent music video. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MTV Unplugged, a reboot of the original franchise that premiered in 1989, features popular musicians performing classic songs and new material. The series promotes the artists it features, and some of the performances are timed with the drop of a new single or album. Lyrics sometimes contain sexual content, stronger language (curses are muted), and references to violent events, drinking, and getting high. 

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What's the story?

MTV UNPLUGGED (2017) features live acoustic performances by popular singers and bands around the United States. The franchise reboot features artists like Shawn Mendes and Bleachers performing popular songs and new music. Musicians like Carly Rae Jepsen and Lorde make special appearances, too. The featured artists' music videos are sometimes aired at the end of the show. 

Is it any good?

This entertaining reboot offers a chance to watch musicians perform live in smaller, iconic venues with more intimate settings. The simplicity of each show allows for the appreciation of the music and lyrics without a lot of additional hype.

As in prior seasons of the series, the performances act as promotional devices, especially when they're timed to coincide with a single or album release. But at the heart of it, MTV Unplugged offers a chance to witness the commitment each artist has to the purity of his or her music. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how music sounds when it is played live versus prerecorded. Why does it sound different? Do you like these differences?

  • What does the title MTV Unplugged mean? Are there differences between earlier versions of the series and this one?

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 8, 2017
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: April 16, 2021

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