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 songwriting competition offers lots of insight into what goes into building a commercially successful career in the music industry. Expect lots of references to popular musicians, mild sexual references, and some strong language ("s--t" unbleeped; "f--k" is bleeped). Despite some big egos and mild arguments about creative differences, the contestants' focus is more on their craft than creating personal drama.
What's the story?
PLATINUM HIT is a songwriting competition designed to launch an aspiring songwriter into music stardom. Hosted by singer and songwriter Jewel, the series features 12 creative musical talents competing in a series of innovative challenges designed to push their creativity and drive. Each week they start by writing a hook (chorus), and then go on to expand it into a full song to be performed in front of Jewel, head judge Kara DioGuardi, RCA/Jive Records Vice President Trevor Jerideau, and celebrity judges like Donna Summer, Taio Cruz, and Leona Lewis. Writers hitting sour notes are eliminated. The winner receives $100,000, a publishing contract with Sony/BMI Songwriters The Writing Camp, and a record deal with RCA/Jive.
Is it any good?
The reality series offers some interesting and professional insight into what goes into the creative and competitive world of songwriting. Judges and writers offer details about what makes a song worth producing into a record, like what lyrics and melodies immediately grab audiences, and the importance of staying away from clichés.
There’s some minor tension between contestants, especially when writing teams can’t make their song work. But the show’s focus is more about creative energy than on than heated reality drama. Also enjoyable are the musical performances, which often look like they’ve been produced for MTV Unplugged. Best of all, aspiring songwriters may learn something by watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the work that goes into being a commercially successful songwriter. What do songwriters have to have in order to be successful? Why do some songwriters choose to incorporate strong language and sexually explicit references in their lyrics? Do they need to do this in order to make a hit record?
Teens and tweens: What do you and your friends think about illegally downloading music from the Internet? How does illegally downloading music from the Internet impact a songwriter’s ability to make a living from the music industry?