Secrets of Aspen

Common Sense Media says

Unoriginal reality show about materialistic socialites.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overall, the series celebrates a rather elitist, materialistic way of looking at the world.

Positive role models

The cast members are materialistic and preoccupied by social status. While some of them appear to be friends, they engage in lots of gossipy, catty behavior. Not a lot of diversity in the cast.

Violence

Frequent arguing; cast members are also occasionally shown pushing and shoving each other.

Sex

Some hugging, kissing, and occasional strong sexual innuendo. Some of the cast members are shown wearing bikinis and sexy clothing. The female cast members frequently squabble over men. References to some cast members acting like "cougars" and using men for money. In one episode, a reference is made to "raping one's innocence."

Language

Words like "bitch" are audible, while curses like "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Labels like Chanel and Ralph Lauren are discussed. Some cast members are shown using their iPods. One of the cast members is trying to launch a ski clothing line.  

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent alcohol consumption (wine, champagne), especially during social gatherings and meals. Some of the cast members' catty behavior occurs after someone has had a little too much to drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that -- much like the Real Housewives franchise -- this reality series about the members of Aspen, Colorado's social elite follows a group of women who compete for social status, live materialistic lifestyles, and squabble over men. There's some sexual innuendo, lots of alcohol consumption (wine, champagne), and some major cat fighting (including pushing and shoving). Expect strong langauge (words like "bitch" are audible, while stronger choices are bleeped) and plenty of references to labels like Chanel and Ralph Lauren.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

SECRETS OF ASPEN offers an inside look at the Colorado resort town's exclusive social circle after the snow melts. Cameras follow Aspenites like divorcee Laura (whom everyone loves to hate), former beauty queen Brooke, and social veteran Shana as they make their way through the town's summer social season. Joining the tight-knit group are Miami transplants Erin and her best friend, Ben. Also adding to the fray are Star and Kat, two hardworking young women who love the high-end social scene but struggle to afford it. The drarma never ends as Aspen's upper crust competes for friends, men, and the chance to make their mark.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Overall, Secrets of Aspen bears a strong resemblance to Bravo's Real Housewives franchise, thanks to its focus on women who place a lot of importance on material wealth, looking good, and socializing with the "right" people. Fighting for available men also seems to be a major theme.

The endless storylines about backstabbing friends, jilted lovers, and living the high life may appeal to some viewers. But these socialites are sometimes so theatrical that what they're saying seems scripted, and ultimately their stories are pretty unoriginal. The real "secret" of this reality show? It just doesn't offer anything new.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of watching shows about wealthy,

  • elite members of society. What kinds of messages do these shows send

  • about people who have money?

  • Do you think this series is purposely designed to resemble the Real Housewives shows. Do you think some copy-catting is OK, or should all series provide something original?

  • Do you think some reality shows are scripted and/or planned? Do you

  • think reality shows should be considered "reality" if the cast has been

  • told how to act or what to do once the cameras are rolling? How can you

  • tell what's real?

TV details

Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Secrets of Aspen was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old February 19, 2010
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QUALITY
 
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What other families should know
Great role models

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