TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Storytellers TV Poster Image
Tales behind the tunes are tailored to true fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show reveals the thought, talent, and creativity behind popular bands/performers, showing that some celebritites are more than pretty faces.


Depends on the performer: Some may discuss a personal story involving violence, but this isn't typical.


Depends on the performer, but generally no sexual allusions. Some songs may contain sexual metaphors/sexually tinged lyrics.


There's always the possibility for mild expletives, but this varies from show to show.


Essentially commercials for albums, if you want to look at it that way.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some performers' songs or discussion might include references to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this musical performance series features contemporary pop musicians discussing and performing their music. In general, parents have little to worry about here. Some musicians may broach adult topics like divorce, disease, politics, or violence, but that's not usually the focus of the show. If parents are comfortable with their kids listening to the featured musicians' music, they should feel OK with the show.

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What's the story?

Music fans find a dream come true in the anthology series STORYTELLERS, in which top pop musicians perform and discuss the stories behind their songs. Bands like the Dixie Chicks, Coldplay, and Pearl Jam open up to adoring audiences, sharing the details and histories that enrich their music. Hearing musicians speak about their music gives viewers a different perspective on the performers; a glimpse behind the famous facades. Some musicians are charming, some inarticulate, some inspiring. Learning about the grandmother with Alzheimer's who inspired a Dixie Chicks song or watching Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa interact onstage, for example, gives viewers a more personal connection to the performers.

Is it any good?

The musicians' stories seem unrehearsed, which gives the show a refreshingly unpolished quality. But this can sometimes backfire, resulting in unfocused ramblings or incomplete thoughts. For viewers without a strong affinity for the featured performers, Storytellers can be downright dull.

While editing plays an important part in individual episodes' success, some seem picked dry of juicy details. For instance, in the Dixie Chicks installment, the Chicks spoke only vaguely about the controversy surrounding their political comments when they introduced their song "Not Ready to Make Nice." Perhaps the live performance included more detail about this major episode in their career history, but viewers were left wondering. Dedicated fans can look for additional footage on the VH1 Web site.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about favorite songs. What makes a song appealing to parents and kids? Kids, do you know the story behind your favorite songs? Has anyone in your family ever been surprised by the history of a song you enjoy? What life event would you like to write a song about?

TV details

  • Premiere date: February 20, 1996
  • Network: VH1
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: DVD, Streaming
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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