By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Eye-opening docuseries promotes tolerance, diversity.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers see and hear about struggles of people with conditions like autism and Tourette's syndrome doing something most take for granted: finding and keeping meaningful employment. Despite challenges, they demonstrate perseverance in their search and willingness to work to their strengths; in many cases, potential employers' willingness to embrace diversity pays off to everyone's advantage.
Positive Role Models
The subjects' determination to overcome challenges is inspiring. As they work with professionals to better understand their skills and limitations, their self-confidence improves. Family and friends provide moral support, encouragement as they endure grueling experience of job applications, multiple rejections.
Some subjects' tics cause them to say anatomical words like "nipple" and "boob" at inappropriate times.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Employables is an insightful docuseries that follows people with conditions like Tourette's syndrome and autism on their quests for careers. The show is often emotional, as the adult subjects don't hide their feelings of anxiety, disappointment, and frustration over multiple rejections and interview fails. But there's also a lot of hope in their determination to continue trying and in their support systems' loyalty throughout the process. Certain aspects of conditions like Tourette's mean loud outbursts can happen at any time, sometimes including language that seems inappropriate, like "boobs" and "nipples," in one case. This series is best suited for families with tweens and teens rather than younger kids, and it can generate valuable discussions about diversity and tolerance.
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What's the Story?
THE EMPLOYABLES documents the experiences of people with conditions like autism and Tourette's syndrome as they pursue careers in their fields of interest. Often following years of disappointing job interviews and part-time employment, this process introduces the subjects to specialists who work with them to identify their strengths and help them devise strategies for communicating with potential employers. As they weather the ups and downs of applying and interviewing for jobs while managing the symptoms of their conditions, their families and friends provide invaluable moral support.
Is It Any Good?
This eye-opening series encourages tolerance for diverse abilities by immersing viewers in the emotional struggles of its subjects. What is a mere inconvenience for most people proves a Herculean task for people like James, a 30-something man with Tourette's syndrome who craves meaningful employment that is worthy of his extremely high IQ. Determined to find a place that will appreciate his impressive acuity and abilities, James faces his anxieties about interviewing and sets about the job search process with renewed hope.
The Employables challenges what likely are many viewers' preconceptions about adults with unique conditions and their suitability to a traditional workplace. Not only does it show how the job seekers try to adapt, it also shows employers demonstrating flexibility with regard to the applicants' needs. The result is an inspiring look at how the professional world is changing for the better and catering to individuals in an effort to cultivate talent, and how this new reality might spell personal happiness for those previously marginalized by stereotypes.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the unique challenges the subjects face as they look for jobs in The Employables. What kinds of work environments are best for each of them? How do potential employers accommodate their needs? In what ways do these small changes benefit everyone involved?
What accounts for the applicants' perseverance after disappointments in their past? Would you be able to remain hopeful with challenges like theirs? How do failures translate to learning experiences? Can we always identify them as such in the present?
In what ways can you strive to accommodate people with conditions and disabilities in your school and community? How does being around people who are different from us help us learn about ourselves? Why is it important to extend respect to everyone?
- Premiere date: May 15, 2019
- Network: A&E
- Genre: Reality TV
- Character Strengths: Empathy, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: May 20, 2023
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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Where to Watch
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