By Sierra Filucci,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Catty reality show burns brain cells to a crisp.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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.
Violence & Scariness
Some angry verbal encounters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Plenty, with words like "ass" and "bitch" unbleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Promotes the central business -- Sunset Tan -- and, subtly, its products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some heavy partying, including plentiful drinking.
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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).
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
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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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Premiere date: May 28, 2007
- Cast: Erin Tietsort, Janelle Perry, Nick D'Anna
- Network: E!
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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