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 while the contestants and judges (including Motley Crue's Tommy Lee) are tried-and-true rockers, their behavior and comments on this show are pretty PG. What's more, there are some good lessons to be learned about the importance of being patient when pursuing a dream, and the benefits of hard work.
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What's the story?
In ROCK STAR: SUPERNOVA, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, Guns-N-Roses' guitarist Gilbey Clarke, and Metallica bassist Jason Newsted evaluate singers who are competing for the chance to front the veteran rockers' new band, Supernova. In each episode hosted by Brooke Burke (Wild On), the aspiring singers perform a popular song (choices have ranged from the classic -- The Who's "Pinball Wizard" -- to the contemporary -- "Iris," by the Goo Goo Dolls) for the screaming audience, then wait for the judges' remarks. Judges include Jane's Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro. At the end of each episode, viewers can vote for their favorite performer; the three lowest-scoring singers face elimination during the following evening's episode. One contestant is dismissed each week until a winner -- who will front, record an album with, and tour with the band -- is chosen.
Is it any good?
It might be tempting to pigeonhole Rock Star: Supernova as another American Idol wannabe, since both series feature the "right" music industry influencers. But the average face of the competition in Rock Star is a lot more rocker than Clay Aiken. Contestants are usually tattooed with highlighted hair and plrnty of pierces. But in the end, whether they have more talent than meets the eye or their career peaked at the high school talent show, most of them come across as mature performers hoping to make their dreams come true. Heart is the name of the game, and both fans and judges have compassion for the underdog wannabes.
The show's atmosphere is good-natured and supportive, and the number of positive comments from the judges far outweighs the negative -- almost suspiciously so, in fact, considering the fact that the folks on stage and in the judges' seats are hardcore rockers. Fans used to seeing Lee, Clarke, Navarro, and Newsted thrashing about onstage will most likely find themselves bemused at the compassionate, pleasant demeanors they display in the judges' chairs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what a career in the performing arts is like. How do musicians deal with long hours and days, even months, on the road? Is the music industry built on great voices alone, or has it become a vehicle solely for the good-looking? Do you think the contestants could make it on their own, without the show?