Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Watch-together reality spotlights small-town talent.

TV AMC Reality TV 2013
Showville Poster Image

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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.

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