Same Name

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Same Name TV Poster Image
Gimmick series has good messages and genuine emotion.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Celebrities often end the experience with meaningful takeaways about the importance of family, the benefit of community, and a palpable sense of connection. Non-celebrities are rewarded for their hard work and hospitality.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most celebrities are game for working hard and doing what needs to be done to live life like their non-celebrity namesakes. They can also be generous and thoughtful when it comes to the gifts they leave their host families.

Violence
Sex

Mild sexual innuendo; a woman asks a star to sign her cleavage, etc.

Language

Rare use of words like "damn" and "ass."

Consumerism

Celebrities give their non-celebrity namesakes gifts at the end of each episode, and some involve brand names.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is generally a good pick for family viewing. That said, brand names are visible on some of the gifts that celebrities give their host families. There's also audible language (including "damn" and "ass"), light sexual innuendo, and background social drinking.

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What's the story?

Celebrities agree to trade places temporarily with regular people who have the SAME NAME, giving each the chance to see what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Celebrities participating in the project include actor David Hasselhoff, comedian Kathy Griffin, boxer Mike Tyson, and professional footballer Reggie Bush.

Is it any good?

At first, SAME NAME feels like a riff on gimmicky fish-out-of-water TV that puts celebrities in unpleasant situations to watch them squirm -- which worked so well for I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Ahem. But it soon evolves into a genuinely touching social experiment with surprisingly meaningful takeaways.

Even David Hasselhoff, who's essentially kept his career afloat by cashing in on his overhyped Hoff-ness, gets to a point where he's crying actual tears over the new family he's found in rural Lake Jackson, Texas, the home of 27-year-old landscaper David Hasselhoff, Jr. Not every celebrity shows that kind of emotion, but it's worth watching when it happens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about celebrities and the important role they play in popular culture. Why do we put celebrities on a pedestal and tend to forget that they're people, just like us? What role does media play in shaping our perceptions?

  • What stereotypes do the celebrities and non-celebrities have about each other? How accurate do they turn out to be?

  • Which would you prefer: stepping into a celebrity's shoes or those of a "regular" person? What do you think you could learn from the experience?

TV details

For kids who love reality shows

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