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 Next Big Thing features an unapologetically blunt performance coach who occasionally insults or yells at kids. He also advocates plastic surgery and other physical changes to be successful in the entertainment industry. The series also contains some strong language ("s--t," "f--k" bleeped) and lots of sexual references (including teens and adults in tight underwear).
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What's the story?
THE NEXT BIG THING is a reality series featuring flamboyant New York City performance coach and musical director Trapper Felides as he mentors young talent looking to get their big break in the music industry. As the unapologetically blunt Felides works to expand his business from Broadway to the pop world, he must work around his clients' audition schedules, deal with overbearing stage moms, and keep an eye on his assistant Tracy Mcdowell, who is trying to get her own performance career back on track. Luckily he's got his producer, Tony "baby t" Marion to help him keep things together. Getting his clients ready for stardom isn't always easy, but Felides is committed to helping them make it big in the music world.
Is it any good?
The series offers a voyeuristic look into the behind-the-scenes world of the child performer, and at the kinds of things coaches expect them to do in order to be successful in show business. It also showcases some of the talented young performers who are just starting to make a name for themselves in the industry. Disagreements between Felides and some of the parents creates some friction, too.
The over-the-top personalities featured here, as well as some of the cast's singing performances, creates a fair share of fun moments. But it also reveals a darker side of the industry, including endless hours of training, difficult rejections, and the pressures placed on talented people at an early age to surgically alter themselves in order to meet industry expectations. It's entertaining, but you may also be troubled by some of what you see here, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes to become a successful child performer in the entertainment industry. What makes some kids stand out among others? How do child performers handle harsh criticism and rejection? How much of a role do parents have in their success?
Is it appropriate for young performers to radically change their looks to look a certain way on stage or screen? What kind of messages does this send to the people who see them perform?
Do child performers automatically become successful adult performers? Which of today's adult celebs started out as child performers?