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The Celebrity Apprentice
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 version of Donald Trump's famous reality show -- which features celebrities competing for cash to donate to their favorite charitable organizations -- contains more iffy content than its predecessor. While it sends positive messages about giving back to the community, it also contains the typical arguing and catty behavior one has come to expect from this business-oriented reality franchise. The show pushes the envelope with its salty language (“ass,” “piss,” “crap,” and “bitch”; curses like “f--k,” “s--t,” and "Goddamn“ are bleeped with mouths blurred), and contains some strong sexual innuendo, including sexist comments, and strong references to sexual activity. The third season of the series also highlights some of the controversy surrounding a major political figure. Brand logos for show sponsors like Apple computers, Mercedes-Benz, and Snapple beverages are prominent.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, the latest version of The Apprentice franchise, pits celebrities against each other for a good cause. Each week the group of actors, models, musicians, comedians, athletes, and even a shamed politician, competes as two teams in a variety of business challenges to raise money and awareness for their favorite charity. Executive members of the Trump Organization, including Trump’s children, Don Jr. and Ivanka, monitor their progress. The team that earns the most money at the end of each contest wins a cash donation to an aid organization. As expected, The Donald fires members of the losing group. The winning celebrity not only wins the title, but an additional $250,000 bonus for his or her chosen charity, and the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve helped people in need.
Is it any good?
The franchise’s now-familiar formula takes on a colorful twist thanks to the personalities of people like Gene Simmons, Joan Rivers, Sharon Osbourne, and Bret Michaels. The ensembles of Type-A personalities usually leads to lots of arguing and catty behavior both in and out of the boardroom. However, because the contestants are competing for charity rather than for a high-profile job, the overall series is slightly less cutthroat than its predecessor, though it makes up for it with more foul language and sexy content than ever before.
Some of the scenes are clearly staged, and some the celebs, including impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, are making the most of the publicity they are receiving for their participation. The presence of Trump’s kids, while offering a glimpse into their family relationship, also seems a little nepotistic. But if you look past all the reality drama, you will see some very passionate efforts to give back to the community.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much of what they see in this show is real. Given that the contestants are celebrities, how much of what you see is staged? Do you think a lot of planning goes into what celebs are going to say (or not say) while the cameras are rolling?
Do you have a favorite charity? What kinds of things have you done to support it? Can you think of creative ways to raise awareness about its cause, or to raise money for its efforts?
For kids who love reality television
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.