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 this celebrity-driven reality series is generally safe for family viewing, although there might be a few mild expletives (like "damn") you wouldn't really want your child repeating. There's also the potential for sexy dancing or skimpy costumes.
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What's the story?
SKATING WITH THE STARS pairs six celebrities with six professional ice skaters for an elimination-style ice skating competition. Each week, the couples learn a new skill -- and a new routine -- and face each other on the ice to demonstrate how well they've mastered the technique in question. They're subsequently judged on their artistry and technique, and the lowest-scoring couple is sent home. Celebrities include Bethenny Frankel (Real Housewives of New York City), Brandon Mychal Smith (Sonny with a Chance), Sean Young (Blade Runner), Rebecca Budig (All My Children), Olympic skiier Jonny Moseley, and Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil.
Is it any good?
Even those who defend Dancing with the Stars are bound to feel a bit cheated by this uninspiring spin-off that showcases neither a) truly impressive ice skating or b) a truly impressive roster of stars. After all, when Frankel, a Bravo reality regular, gets the coveted last-skate billing, you know you're somewhere in C-list territory. And while it isn't realistic to expect amateurs to land stunts that some professionals train for years to master, aren't flashy jumps like the triple axel what die-hard skating fans really want to see?
If it's authentic ice skating you're after, it's far more rewarding to watch the pros partner up for group exhibitions -- or see judge Johnny Weir take to the ice to skate to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" -- but those fleeting moments hardly warrant tuning in for the rest of the show. It should also be noted that TV execs tried the stars-on-ice format before with 2006's Skating with Celebrities ... which aired for exactly one season before it was canceled.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's format and the popularity of celebrity competitions. Would this show be more or less compelling if regular people were competing instead of celebrities? How does it compare to Dancing with the Stars, the show that inspired it?
Does it surprise you that ice skating is a lot harder than it looks? How long and hard do professionals have to train to develop the triple and quadruple jumps we've come to expect in Olympic competition?
Why did these stars sign up to be on the show? Other than the thrill of the experience, are they getting anything out of it?
For kids who love reality TV
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