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 voyeuristic reality series, which centers on a former Playboy model and her three uninhibited teenage daughters, is drawing a lot of attention thanks to the unexpected criminal charges filed against one of the young women. It also features a lot of over-the-top behavior thanks to the older daughters’ partying and their mother’s inability to instill boundaries in the home. The women are shown in skimpy lingerie and bathing suits (including thongs). Nudity (bare breasts) is blurred. The older daughters frequently dance provocatively on stripper poles, drink (despite being underage), and appear hung over. Holistic beliefs and the self-help plan “The Secret” are also major themes here. Words like “bitch” are audible; curses like “Goddamn,” “s--t,” and “f--k” are bleeped. Fashion labels like Biatta Intimates and Yves Saint Lauren are visible.
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What's the story?
PRETTY WILD! is a reality series about the trials and tribulations of a mother and three sisters/up-and-coming models living and working in Los Angeles, California. Former Playboy model-turned holistic healer Andrea Arlington is raising her three daughters, 19-year-old adopted daughter Tess Taylor, 18-year-old Alexis Neiers, and 15-year-old Gabrielle Neiers, in a home with little structure and few rules. Thanks to their mother’s unique homeschooling, professional modeling opportunities, and for the two older sisters, lots of partying, they are becoming fixtures of the trendy Los Angeles social scene. But their wild journey takes an unexpected detour when Alexis finds herself in very serious legal trouble. While Andrea rethinks her parenting style, the tight-knit family tries to make sense of what is happening while still trying to live a life without boundaries.
Is it any good?
The original intention of the series was to highlight how these up-and-coming models are following the wild footsteps of their mother. But Alexis’ unexpected arrest in connection with a high-profile teen burglary ring (which occurred while the show was filming) has shifted the voyeuristic show towards a new and more dramatic direction. The result is a program that mixes scenes of the sisters crying over Alexis’ troubles in between their lingerie modeling events and moments of rebellious over-the-top behavior.
The attempt at showcasing the overall family’s uninhibited behavior in the midst of these circumstances not only seems like a poor choice, but also shows the lengths to which some people will go to for a shot at stardom. Ironically, what they unintentionally succeed at doing is showing both parents and teens what can happen when kids choose (and are allowed) to live too much on the wild side.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about boundaries. What is the benefit of having family rules? How does your family make decisions about these rules? Is there such a thing as too many rules? Kids: Are there rules that your family has, but that you don’t agree with? How do you deal with that? Parents: what are the consequences when family members don't follow the rules?
Why do people allow themselves to be featured on a reality shows, even when what is being shown isn’t flattering or socially acceptable? Is for the fame? Money? What kind of impact does being on these shows have? Do you think this family’s decision to continue with their show in light of Alexis’ legal problems appropriate? Why or why not?
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