By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Wealthy teens give tours of cushy digs they didn't pay for.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The overall message is "bigger is better." (And forget about living large -- most of these teens live huge.) Some teens even have their own private wings that essentially give them complete privacy from their parents. The show also implies that viewers should look up to and idolize these kids simply because they were fortunate enough to be born into wealthy families who can afford to shower them with lavish gifts and five-star accommodations.
Positive Role Models
While some of the teens seem genuinely grateful to have what they do, most are living the good life without much concern or awareness of the hard work that went into paying for it.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some teens make references to entertaining members of the opposite sex in their bedrooms and other places their parents' eyes can't see, but it's not necessarily overtly sexual. Many teens also throw hot tub and pool parties that allow teen girls and boys to hang out in bikinis and board shorts.
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Most episodes are pretty clean, but in at least one case, a parent's use of "f--k" was bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Teens frequently mention luxury labels like Porsche, BMW, Rolls Royce, and Hummer. Most of their other prized possessions aren't attributed to a specific brand, but viewers will see logos for Xbox, as well as food manufacturers like Totino's Pizza Rolls, Edy's Ice Cream, and Hot Pockets.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the expansive estates featured in this spin-off of MTV's hit Cribs will probably make the average home -- no matter how nice it is -- look bland by comparison. (After all, it's kind of tough to compete with a private beach and an indoor soccer field. ... ) As a result, teen viewers could get the impression that their ordinary stuff just isn't good enough. They'll also be confronted with plenty of luxury brands and see teens talking about lavish parties, high-end cookouts, and international travel as if they were everyday occurrences.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
Taking its cues from MTV's celebrity-driven Cribs, TEEN CRIBS brings viewers inside the homes of ordinary teens -- well, "ordinary" in the sense that they aren't internationally famous ... their parents are "just" extremely rich. The teens themselves serve as the show's tour guides, leading camera crews through their parents' expansive estates and showing off some of their most prized possessions, from indoor bowling alleys and basketball courts to private salons and luxury cars.
Is It Any Good?
Shows like Teen Cribs appeal to the voyeur in all of us, and the chance to peek inside mega homes that most of us could only afford in our dreams is kind of fun. But what are we learning here about the cost of such luxurious accommodations and, in most cases, the hard work that went into paying for them? Unfortunately, not very much. (One notable exception: The home of one teen, whose father is an inventor and the owner of several unnamed tech companies, sends a strong message that being smart can pay off. Big time.)
Many of these privileged teens' parents admit on camera that they purposefully tried to make their homes "fun" so that their kids would want to spend all their time there with their friends instead of getting into trouble someplace else. Family togetherness is great. But does it really take a Rolls Royce, a recording studio, and an indoor rock climbing wall to keep kids happy and safe? If so, parents everywhere should be concerned.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the message this show sends in regards to consumerism, money, and happiness. Do these teens' lives seem better just because they have expensive things? Would you trade your life for theirs, or are you happy with what you have?
Teens: Does watching this show make you want to make a lot of money when you grow up? How hard do you think you'd have to work to pay for the things you're seeing on screen?
Why are shows about people who live the good life so popular? Do you look up to these teens, or are you jealous of them?
- Premiere date: June 1, 2009
- Cast: Meredith Anne Bull
- Network: MTV
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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