Neighbors with Benefits

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Neighbors with Benefits TV Poster Image
Swinging couples share their lives in mature reality show.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The swinging lifestyle is portrayed as sexual encounters between consenting adults within the community. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tony and Diana are lifestyle recruiters; Mark lectures against it. Couples often are divided. 

Violence

Occasional threats of violence when rules aren't followed. 

Sex

Consensual sex is a major theme; there's lots of flirting and sexual activity discussed, including infidelity and safety precautions. Women in skimpy clothing; nudity blurred. 

Language

"Hell," "ass," "douche bag"; stronger words bleeped. 

Consumerism

1-800-Got-Junk?, Sierra Nevada beer, and iPhones appear. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Parties feature lots of wine, cocktails, beer; drinking games shown.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Neighbors with Benefits is a reality show that explores the swinger lifestyle, which is all about consensual sexual relationships between couples. Flirting and some sexual behavior is visible; nudity is blurred. Infidelity is a theme. Words such as "hell," "ass" audible; curses are bleeped. There's also lots of drinking and occasional threats of violence. 

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What's the story?

NEIGHBORS WITH BENEFITS is a reality series that showcases the swinger lifestyle in the outwardly quiet suburban neighborhood of Hamilton Township, Ohio. It stars self-proclaimed swinging ringleaders Tony and Diana McCollister, who are committed to hunting and recruiting attractive couples to become part of their community. Although some of the local couples are willing to experiment, Mark and Aimee, who practice faith-based monogamy, respectfully speak against it. Conflict arises as some couples curiously explore trading partners, while other, more seasoned "lifestylers" struggle with the rules their community is expected to follow. Regardless of their behavior, everyone's aware that their choices are considered by many to be very taboo.

Is it any good?

Neighbors with Benefits offers viewers a glimpse of the swinger lifestyle, which encourages couples to partner intimately with members of other twosomes to enhance their own relationships. It highlights behaviors unique to the lifestyle, including the use of code words and other etiquette designed to keep lifestylers from blurring the lines between their swinging relationships and committing all-out infidelity.

There's lots of reality drama, but most of it is designed to highlight the hedonistic pleasure the lifestyle promises while pointing to the many physical and emotional risks its adherents take. Some of the moral arguments against this way of life also are addressed, embodied by Mark and Aimee. It's not a subject that will appeal to everyone, and it's definitely not for kids, but the show is an interesting glimpse into a particular way of life. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons people choose to appear on reality shows. Why are these people choosing to go public with their private lives? What are the benefits of sharing your life openly?

  • Families can talk about strong relationships. How important are trust and commitment? What makes a relationship last over the years? 

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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