A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes touched on include individuality, self-respect, perseverance, and community.
Positive Role Models
These kids are enthusiastic and encouraging about each other's dreams. People try new things, even when it is daunting. When a neighborhood club is rocked by violence, event planner Ebon Gore coordinates a party to help everyone process their feelings and feel supported.
The show takes place in the queer arts scene in New York and features multiple characters who are trans, non-binary, and/or exploring their options. Cast members and their friends come from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.
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Violence & Scariness
No onscreen violence, but an episode touches on the aftermath of a hate crime enacted toward a local queer-centered club, which involved arson and someone being injured.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No onscreen nudity, but there's a lot of skin on display and some makeout scenes. A lot of talk about sexuality, "hooking up", etc.
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Mild swears like "hell" and "damn" are heard, and harsher terms are censored.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many scenes with cast members drinking and partying. References to drugs like ketamine, but no drugs consumed onscreen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that THE COME UP is a reality docu-series centered on a group of Gen Z artists and creators trying to make it in New York. The cast is quite diverse racially and in terms of sexual orientation and gender representation. There's regular discussion among the cast members regarding their love and sex lives, with some mild makeout scenes here and there. Drinking is a pretty regular activity, as we see them enjoying the nightlife at parties and on dates. Language-wise, it's pretty mild -- a "hell" or "damn" here or there, while harsher expletives are censored.
Is It Any Good?
Viewers expecting to see a gritty look at the lives of starving artists will likely be disappointed, as the cast's stories -- at least as presented here -- are low on struggle, and high on hustle. It's not that every show about creative types needs to be a story of deep strife, but it's maybe a bit silly that The Come Up presents mainly the dreamy, pie-in-the-sky positive aspects of being a thriving young artist while simultaneously circumventing any discussion or acknowledgment of the very obvious privilege enjoyed by the many of its cast members. Frankly, it's hard to get too invested in the career climb of a model when he's already at a point in his career where Kate Moss is serving as the ring bearer at his (fake) wedding -- and the fact that he's the child of a mega-successful modeling agency magnate and brother to a rock star is glossed over completely.
Some have more complex stories, though, like fashion designer Taofeek Abijako, who went from the ghettos (his word) of Nigeria to dressing Hollywood actresses for the Met Gala at age 24. And younger viewers may recognize the anxiety and pressure felt by photographer Sophia, whose busy freelance career doesn't seem to matter to her mom, who is determined to convince her daughter to return to NYU and finish up her degree. That said, those who criticize the series as a fluffy soap about the selfie-obsessed Instagram generation aren't completely off base, but as long as you can tolerate watching these largely unjaded -- and often sweet -- kids bound ahead as if they're the first people to ever move to New York to make their mark while staying up late and dating around, you may find it kind of fun.
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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Our Editors Recommend
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