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 talent-based reality show airs online on Nick.com. It's not as competitive as similar shows: Rather than competing against one another, the teen contestants are practicing to become a super-group with a stage show and tour. That said, kids definitely feel pressure to improve their skills throughout the process, and the emphasis is on "making it big." Some parents may want to remind young viewers that having a special skill or talent can be rewarding for its own sake, and that fame shouldn't be the ultimate goal.
What's the story?
Comedian and musician Nick Cannon's latest project brings together a group of 10 super-talented teens in NICK CANNON'S STAR CAMP. The multi-ethnic group of dancers, rappers, and singers lives together in a tricked-out pad in Los Angeles while they undergo rigorous training with guidance from big names like Quincy Jones, Debbie Allen, and others. The goal? To turn the kids into an all-around super-group.
Is it any good?
The entire process of Star Camp, along with one-on-one interviews with the kids, appears online in 15-minute segments. But despite its online format, the show looks a lot like other talent-based reality shows on TV. Short profiles of cast members appear alongside full-length video installments to augment the program. And links to a message board appear right next to the video player, allowing viewers to weigh in quickly on what they've seen.
The kids, as well as Cannon, are charming, largely genuine, and hugely talented. Tweens and teens who watch might be inspired to practice their various skills with hopes of getting opportunities like the Star Camp kids. On the other hand, with its emphasis on superstardom, the show sends a message that making it big (fame/money) is the greatest goal. Parents may want to emphasize that being good at something is a goal in itself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the growing popularity of online television. What appeal do online shows have for viewers? In general, how are Internet series and regular TV shows similar and different? What do you like and not like about each? Is this a show that could only exist online, or is it just like a regular TV show? Families can also discuss fame. What's the appeal of being famous? What are some of the downsides? What would tweens and teens like to be known for? Have parents or kids had any experience with fame or notoriety?