Sunset Tan



Catty reality show burns brain cells to a crisp.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series emphasizes mainstream ideals of physical beauty and raises body-image issues. Some of the featured folks behave unprofessionally, including flirting intensely in order to make a sale. In one episode, a mom pushes a tan on her young daughter, encouraging her to look like Lindsay Lohan.


Some angry verbal encounters.


Lots of nudity, though it's mostly non-sexual, and key bits are blurred. Skimpy clothing on men and women, with lots of attention paid to bodies (breasts, chests, butts, etc.). Heavy flirting, and some discussion of sex and relationships.


Plenty, with words like "ass" and "bitch" unbleeped.


Promotes the central business -- Sunset Tan -- and, subtly, its products.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some heavy partying, including plentiful drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this brainless reality series shows a lot of skin -- though key body parts are blurred -- and is generally very body- and image-focused. The salon employees will do just about anything to make a sale, plus they drink a lot, get into angry confrontations, and swear up a storm (the worst is bleeped, but a lot gets by).

Kids say

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What's the story?

Reality show SUNSET TAN revolves around the titular California-based tanning salon chain. Staffers' and clients' often-ridiculous, sometimes over-the-top dramas take center stage, drawing viewers into the personal and professional lives of these catty, flirty, and ambitious young people. From the bronzed businessmen bosses to the giggly blonde-girl duo of Molly and Holly (dubbed "The Ollies"), the cast clearly loves the spotlight. Episodes focus on who will get promotions, how many sales each employee makes, and interesting clients -- including Britney Spears and a corpse in need of a tan.

Is it any good?


Cameras zoom in on poolside streaking sessions and jiggling bosoms, and neither staffers nor clients seem to have any qualms about stripping down to nothing with the cameras rolling (key bits are blurred). With its unquestioned focus on physical looks, as well as displays of dysfunctional professional behavior, Sunset Tan is clearly intended to be a guilty pleasure for adults. But parents may well want older teens to steer clear, since the show is so caught up in sexism, consumerism, and unbridled greed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's messages. What is it saying about body image and beauty? What standards of beauty does it adhere to? Who sets those standards? Do you think the show's producers are trying to objectively document what goes on behind the scenes of a tanning salon, or is it meant to be a guilty pleasure? Also, how can salespeople keep their integrity while trying to make a sale? Is there a line that can't be crossed when it comes to promoting or selling a product?

TV details

Cast:Erin Tietsort, Janelle Perry, Nick D'Anna
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Sunset Tan was written by

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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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bydaskipster7 April 9, 2008
Adult Written byliz321 April 9, 2008

Nudity and Implied sexual risque behaviour

The show was entertaining, however I felt like I lost brain cells after watching it. It seemed to be very fake, and not at all what REAL Hollywood is like. Do People really want to waste their time with this show? You can change bad lightbulbs or re-grout the bathtub instead, and actually get something out of it when you are done!! Stupid Show, but it COULD be cute with better story lines!!
Parent of a 23 and 25 year old Written byJoshcruz December 31, 2008

Fun Show

My kids make me watch this. I have a 23 and a 26 year-old. It truly is a fun show. Its all fun! I recommend it for kids over 15 years of age. A fun corky reality show.


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