A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
In each epidode, contestants put themselves in other people's shoes, including those who are homeless, blind, wheelchair-bound, and migrant farm workers.
Violence & Scariness
Contestants spar verbally with homeless people and are physically threatened.
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Dozens of bleeped swear words: "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," and other mild profanities.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
While the contestants don't exhibit any drug or alcohol abuse, they find themselves in situations in which the people around them are using.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this deeply flawed reality series doles out carefully controlled, neatly packaged inspiration, which comes across as condescending and false. The show has positive messages about concepts like compassion and forgiveness, but they're only concepts: None of the participants actually acts to help the disadvantaged communities they're visiting. Instead of spending their time watching these wannabe speakers wax philosophic, kids should actually get out and do some real good by volunteering.
Is It Any Good?
While The Messengers shows viewers how other people live and the challenges that they have to overcome, the show's concept is seriously flawed. Viewers are shown a brief glimpse of the different disadvantaged communities, but none of the contestants actually does anything to help the people they visit. In fact, the plight of these communities becomes something akin to a circus show.
The concept is noble -- the opening credits show icons like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa, implying that those are the kinds of examples the contestants want to live up to -- but the show is condescending and the message feeble at best. Watching 10 well-dressed, educated people spending a night on Skid Row feels insulting to the homeless residents, several of whom voice their disgust with their privileged "neighbors."
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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