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 The Mother/Daughter Experiment: Celebrity Edition showcases dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships and the on-camera therapeutic efforts to improve them. There are a few positive moments here and there, but these are hard to pick up on thanks to endless arguments, some of which are alcohol-fueled. There are lots of discussions about infidelity, inappropriate relationships, addiction, and other destructive behaviors.
What's the story?
THE MOTHER/DAUGHTER EXPERIMENT: CELEBRITY EDITION features mother-daughter duos with some reality celebrity status trying to work out the problems between them. The cast, which includes Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Kim Richards and her daughter Kimberly, The Ex-Wives Club member Shar Jackson and her daughter Cassie, and The Hills’ star Heidi Montag and her mom Darlene move into a house to work with therapist Dr. Debbie Magids in an attempt to repair old wounds and improve communication so they can go on to have healthier relationships in the future.
Is it any good?
This voyeuristic series combines typical reality fanfare and therapy techniques to highlight the dysfunctional relationships between these moms and daughters for the sake of entertainment. The history between and problems of each woman are purposely hyped up and drawn out to create lots of awkward, exploitative moments. Adding to this is the fighting that sometimes takes place between members of the cast.
It's clear that these moms and daughters love each other, and there are some legitimate efforts to improve their situations. But the process unfolds in front of reality-TV cameras, making any positive messages or constructive advice easy to miss or ignore. Some may regard it as a guilty viewing pleasure, but it doesn’t send the best messages about how moms and daughters can resolve any differences they may have.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons people choose to work out their problems on a reality show. Is it to help others? For money? Is it really possible for people to get meaningful help or resolve their problems in front of reality-show cameras?
How does the appearance of media celebrities on shows such as this one affect the way we look at (or look up to) them? Why? Should people be surprised that celebrities have problems like everyone else?