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Rent: Live

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Rent: Live TV Poster Image
Live performance of popular, mature musical hits sour note.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It addresses themes like drug abuse, AIDS, and homelessness. It also looks at celebrating life and friendship. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters aren’t perfect, but are good friends and care about each other. 

Violence

A character gets beat up; another one dies. VIolence in the streets is alluded to. 

Sex

Lots of strong sexual innuendo, including references to prostitution. Crude references are sometimes made. 

Language

Some strong language and sexy dance moves.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs and alcohol are consistently visible, discussed (and presumably consumed). Some characters are former and current heroin users. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rent: Live is a semi-live performance of the popular Broadway musical, Rent. It stars Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, Together they bring to television their interpretation of the Tony Award-winning show, which addresses mature modern-day issues of drug abuse, homelessness, and AIDS with humor and pathos, while celebrating life with joy. While some of the words and lyrics were edited for a TV audience, it's still a watch for teens and grown-ups who can discuss the darkness and light that this musical brings. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13, 13, 14, and 15 year old Written byDio fry January 31, 2019
Teen, 15 years old Written byA.Ham February 5, 2019

I've never seen Rent before this- not the best place to start

Although it may be pretty clean on the sex note, the performances by the actors are terrible. Vanessa Hudgens and (what's his name) who plays Mark are the... Continue reading

What's the story?

RENT: LIVE (2019) is a partially live broadcast of the award-winning Broadway musical, Rent.  It stars Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, and RulPaul’s Drag Race’s Ms. Congeniality winner Valentina as Angel. Rounding out the cast are Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson, and Mario as the landlord, Benny Coffin III. Together they bring to television their interpretation of the popular show, which addresses modern-day issues of drug abuse, homelessness, and AIDS with humor and pathos, while celebrating life with joy. 

Is it any good?

This disappointing rendition of the popular musical, which is based on the opera La Boheme, fails to fully deliver thanks to pre-broadcast mishaps. A last-minute foot injury sustained by one of the cast members resulted in the airing of a combination of pre-recorded scenes of the dress rehearsal with live performances. As a result, despite the star-studded cast of talented singers, the quality of the singing, and the performers' energy, is uneven throughout. Also distracting is the presence of a studio audience, who sit around and in front of the stage. 

The actual stage design is brilliant and detailed, revealing the effort put into the overall event. But it also makes you wonder why no one thought to come up with a better backup plan in case of potential problems. Meanwhile, the changes to some of the lyrics and language to make it more TV-friendly may be upsetting to diehard fans of the original show. Overall, it isn’t the best performance, but Rent: Live reminds us that no matter what, the show must go on. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the challenges of adapting a Broadway show to a live performance. What are some of the changes that have to be made? What do you do when things go wrong on live TV?

  • Why has Rent been so popular over the years? What makes it different from other Broadway shows? 

TV details

For kids who love musicals

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