A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Documentary encourages critical analysis of pop culture news reporting and its reflection on society's double standards towards women.
Using Britney Spears' treatment as a case study for what not to do, the documentary sends a message of being compassionate instead of judgemental.
Positive Role Models
While Spears is a complicated role model who made mistakes, the documentary suggests that much of the way she was depicted by the media was based on unfair stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Pushing and shoving as well as verbal hostility with strong language. There's a news story which recounts a threat of violence made against Spears.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of discussion about sexuality and being sexy, as well as lots of clingy and revealing outfits (that don't show any sensitive body parts). Discussions around virginity, having sex, pregnancy, and romantic love. There are some clips of degrading jokes about Spears as a sexual object, but they are clearly presented as being wrong. No actual depiction of sex.
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Many uses of "f--" throughout, as well as "bitch," "slut," and "damn."
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Products & Purchases
Several brands are mentioned in the context of Spears' endorsements. Also many logos are visible throughout since there is a lot of real-world documentary footage. Spears herself is a global brand.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some descriptions of excessive drinking and visuals of adults smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears is a documentary that traces Spears' career and the events that ultimately led to her being placed under a legal conservatorship in 2008. While there is a lot of mature content in the documentary, it offers a great springboard for teens to think critically about the media and how it reflects society. There is a bunch of strong language, including multiple uses of "f--k." A lot of the documentary's subjects discuss Spears' sexuality, being sexy, virginity, pregnancies, and dating life. The archival footage includes Spears' trademark midriff-bearing outfits. There's a bit of drinking and smoking, mild violence like pushing and shoving, and many featured logos throughout.
Is It Any Good?
The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears will make adults who came of age during the early 2000s reflect on how the pop culture media of the time contributed to their own development, and wonder if we're doing any better for today's teenagers. 2020's teens may be reluctant to watch a documentary about their parents' old-fashioned music, as they weren't even alive during Spears' heyday. However, parents who can convince their teens to watch this documentary with them can use it as a springboard for nuanced and complex discussions about sexuality and mental health. It's also a great way to have an organic conversation with teens about media literacy, and the importance of being a critical consumer of news. While entertainment news may seem light and fluffy, it's also a mirror on society's values. Framing Britney Spears is great for teens and parents to watch together, and it'll be especially salient for teens with an interest in feminism and mental health advocacy.
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.