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 reality series -- which follows edgy, abrasive former Shear Genius contestant Tabatha Coffey as she temporarily takes over struggling beauty salons -- is a bit tamer than other similar shows. Coffey's comments are a bit on the harsh side, there's some salty language (though the strongest words are bleeped), and there are references to adult-oriented issues like divorce, but there's very little in the way of sexual or alcohol/smoking-related content. That said, teens may not be particularly interested.
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What's the story?
TABATHA TAKES OVER (formerly Tabatha's Salon Takeover) follows former Shear Genius contestant/successful beauty industry professional Tabatha Coffey as she helps struggling salons transform themselves into thriving high-end establishments. After carefully watching the salon via hidden cameras, the no-nonsense stylist takes over the business and attempts to isolate specific problems by holding staff meetings, conducting training sessions, and working with the owners to re-envision their business; goals include changing management style, improving customer service, and reconstructing workspace design. At the end of the week, Coffey offers specific recommendations about what needs to change, who needs to go, and how to stay in business. Six weeks later she comes back to check in and see whether the salon has taken her suggestions to heart.
Is it any good?
The show is more interesting than entertaining, although it does offer a few dramatic moments when Coffey's biting observations cause salon owners and stylists to break down crying. But while Coffey's razor-sharp, no-holds-barred communication style often seems cold and intolerant (in one scene she remarks that a salon owner "has a stick up her ass"), they're really not intended to be mean. The fact is that she's offering genuine marketing strategies and mentorship to those who clearly need it. She also has some interesting insights about the details that can make or break the success of a high-end salon and/or spa in the competitive beauty industry.
While Tabatha Takes Over is fairly mild compared to other reality shows, Coffey's communication style isn't really ideal for young viewers. The series also deals with adult-oriented topics like and bankruptcy. All in all, there really isn't much here for kids, but teens thinking of going into the beauty industry and fans of beauty and fashion-oriented reality shows in general may find it engaging.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the kinds of personalities that drive reality TV shows. Do reality stars have to be "over the top" in order to make their show successful? And what role does conflict play in reality shows? Would they be as entertaining if everyone got along? How many of the conflicts that viewers see on TV do you think are manufactured/encouraged by the folks behind the scenes? Families can also discuss breaking into the beauty industry. Do you think shows like this give viewers an accurate idea of what it takes to break into the beauty business?