A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
All of the performers are treated with respect, and their aspirations similarly respected. Achievements are celebrated instead of mocked and there's a general atmosphere of support.
Positive Role Models
Lisette and Alec are very supportive and thoughtful mentors who offer contestants real and useful advice that is generally accepted with grace. Contestants clap for each other and generally look like they're having a great time.
Violence & Scariness
Some acts have a bit of a violent edge, like a magic act with swords. Or they may have a gross-out factor, as when one performer puts a cockroach in his mouth.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some acts may be a bit racy, like the one in which a woman does a sword act that involves chopping up a cucumber suggestively. Mapa occasionally busts out a double entendre: "The last time I was with a man with this much leather, alcohol was involved," he quips.
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The occasional curse word, usually used jokingly: "I used to kick my own ass," says Mapa at one point.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol may occasionally be mentioned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Showville is a sweet reality series with talent shows set in various small towns that are mostly appropriate for all ages. Some acts may have a slightly violent or sexual edge, for example, a magic act in which a woman in a bustier wields a whip and chops up a cucumber suggestively. Expect the occasional gross-out act, like when one man puts a cockroach in his mouth, plus occasional strong language said in jest. Otherwise, contestants are generally supportive of and respectful toward each others, and mentors are genuinely helpful to mentees, offering sound advice about their acts without mockery. This could be a great watch-together show, thought younger kids might get a bit bored by the offstage moments and talking-head interviews.
Is It Any Good?
Little-town talent shows filled with hopeful local performers seems ripe for mockery, the way we've seen done so many times, in movies like Waiting for Guffman or television like The Gong Show. But the genius of Showville is that instead of laughing at its cast of starry-eyed small-towners, it treats them with affection and respect. Instead of mocking their magicians, singers, musicians and the like, mentors/judges Alec Mapa and Lisette Bustamente offer them solid advice on showmanship and whisper to each other how much they love the acts and the performers.
The stakes are small: performing in a local talent show, winning enough money to take one really good trip, not change a life. The contestants' expectations are correspondingly modest: "This will give us the validation that other people think we're pretty darn good," says a man who plays the Irish penny whistle (beautifully!) with his wife. "When they see me, they're going to say 'I like that guy!'" says another performer. And we do. And Showville too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.