A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
No-holds-barred rudeness at its worst. Lippy young adults and their boyfriends or girlfriends diss parents, prospective dates, and their current mates. Parents encourage their kids to go out with new dates before breaking off their current relationship.
Violence & Scariness
No gunplay, but the word wars are stinging.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Yikes! Innuendoes and suggestive talk abound, and from all sources.
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Angry words fly, including plenty of bleeped language.
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Products & Purchases
Materialistic mates drop brand names and make demands.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Minors don't drink on screen, but there's talk of "partying" and other behaviors.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this MTV dating series is based on the assumption of an all-out war between parents and their child's current boyfriend or girlfriend. Young adults are rude to parents, and vice versa. Verbal battles sting with nastiness (some exchanges are peppered with insults), and it's clear that no love is lost among all participants.
Is It Any Good?
It's almost expected that parents will object to whomever their children date; in fact, it's a cliché that's already been played out in many a movie and TV show. Parental Control plays up this loaded situation, resulting in an obnoxious series in which no one, not even Mom and Dad, is in control. Reality shows are fun to watch when viewers care about participants' "rewards" and have a "hero" they feel invested enough in to cheer to victory. But in this show, it's not clear what the rewards are, and everyone comes off badly. In one episode, a father slams his son's current girlfriend fiercely, taunting her as she watches her boyfriend make a pass at another woman. To which she responds, "Eat me." (One word: Eeew.) In another episode, a dad flashes the "L" for loser to his child's sweetie.
It's also strangely discomfiting to watch Mom and Dad ogle their child on a date, cheering them on when they make out with someone else. What child wants that? Besides, many of the featured kids don't seem like the biggest prizes themselves (one guy rejects a candidate by saying that she seems so into her studies that she won't have enough time to cater to him, a crime so egregious -- in his eyes -- that it makes her bad girlfriend material). A little self-discipline -- and an overhaul -- would go a long way toward making Parental Control more palatable. Perhaps, instead of pitting parents against their children's partners, they could pack everyone off to therapy and let them hash their issues out. Maybe then there would be a happy ending. Or at least a livable one.
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Our Editors Recommend
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