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 the owner of the tree service company spotlighted in this reality series overshadows any educational content with his fiery temperament and self-absorption. He routinely lashes out at his crew with strong language (mostly "hell" and "damn," with stronger choices bleeped) and disrespectful comments, and every cast member degrades co-workers in individual confessionals with the camera. In other words, this show isn't meant for kids, and there aren't enough redeeming qualities to make it anything but a guilty pleasure for older viewers.
What's the story?
Reality series SAW FOR HIRE centers on the work of an Oklahoma-based tree service company. Under the direction of owner Paul Nosak, the cutting crew tackles every conceivable arbor emergency, from ousting overgrown centurion sycamores to clearing downed trees after an ice storm. Each episode follows the progress of a different project, with crew members and witnesses sharing their thoughts about the process along the way.
Is it any good?
If you tune into this series expecting the kind of smart entertainment that TLC typically offers, you'll be sorely disappointed. Instead of giving an informative glimpse into an oft-overlooked trade, Saw for Hire is monopolized by the egotistical, irritable Nosak, who dominates the camera for two purposes: to congratulate himself for his unparalleled personal expertise and to complain about his apparently inept crew. Between barking orders at his employees and chewing out anyone who he feels isn't up to snuff, Nosak's infatuation with the camera leaves precious little air time to showcase the workers' actual skills.
If that's not enough reason to skip it, the fact that the show is littered with cursing ("damn" and "hell," mostly, with stronger words bleeped) means it's definitely not for kids or tweens. The bottom line? There are plenty of higher-quality series out there that do a better job of celebrating a strong work ethic and skilled trades.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fame. Why do some people so badly want to be famous? How do you think celebrities feel about their star status once they attain it? What are some of the benefits of being famous? What are the drawbacks? Why does our society revere stardom so much? Why do we not assign the same status to doctors, firefighters, teachers, or other occupations? Which stars do you admire? How do they conduct themselves in front of the camera?