A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show exposes some of the direct-order industry's sometimes-misleading "tricks of the trade" -- as in one case where the host chooses not to go through with a demonstration and someone else's hand is substituted.
Positive Role Models
The two hosts don't really get along and frequently put each other down, although they're not vicious about it. Most of the featured inventors are men, and the show seems somewhat male-centric in its overall sensibility. In one case, for example, the inventor of a baby bottle holder for busy mothers is told that the market for her product is too small, while a product for GPS owners gets the go-ahead.
Violence & Scariness
One product demonstration, which is repeated multiple times to prove a product's effectiveness, shows a hammer being slammed down onto a hand sandwiched between shock-absorbing gel; in the same episode, an SUV is driven over the hand-and-gel sandwich. But the whole point is that no one gets injured.
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Audible language includes words like "piss" and "crapp"; "ass" and "f--k" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
The show is about real-world advertising, so many products are mentioned and shown. But even given that context, it doesn't feel excessive -- it's more about providing context and/or because they're part of the working environment.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional scenes of wine drinking as part of a celebration.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show about how commercials are made for direct-order products might make you think twice the next time you see an infomerical on TV. Not surprisingly, many real-world products are featured, and some of the industry's tricks of the trade are exposed. While the topic may not appeal to many kids, there's not much in the way of age-inappropriate content except for a few bleeped swear words and occasional celebratory drinks. There is a lot of bickering between the hosts, but it's not mean-spirited.
Is It Any Good?
Pitchmen is suprisingly fun. While watching Mays and Sullivan bicker might get grating after an episode or two, the process is fascinating and the storytelling is clean and even funny at times. And there are lots of engaging interviews with the inventors.
While the hosts clearly relish their role in helping inventors make their dreams come true, they do place a lot of emphasis on products. That said, a lot of those products are designed to make people's lives better, and ultimately, that's what sells -- so it's a win-win situation, with or without a special bonus offer thrown in.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.