A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series makes a point of highlighting how reality celebrity culture can potentially create the sense that one's validation comes from material wealth and fame, and how one can now build their own celebrity status using social media. It is less successful in addressing issues like taking responsibility for one's bad actions.
Positive Role Models
Andrea Arlington, along with investigating officers, lawyers, and other adults all sought moments of fame as the teens were being investigated, tried, and convicted. Both Nick Prugo and Alexis Neiers are more focused on how their criminal activities impacted them versus the harm they caused to others.
Most of the teens involved in these thefts are young women. One of the former "Bling Ring" members, and one of the A.D.A.s are Asian. One of the interviewees identifies himself as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Violence & Scariness
The focus is on teens stealing from random wealthy people and celebrities in the greater Los Angeles area. No violent crime was committed, but charges included possession of firearms.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Excerpts of TV shows, movies, and tabloid news footage feature women in skimpy clothing, pole dancing, etc. References are made to having crushes on people.
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People being interviewed used words like "s--t," "f--k," and "c--t."
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Products & Purchases
Excerpts from TV shows like the reality show Pretty Wild!, TMZ, and movies like The Bling Ring and The Secret are featured. Logos for luxury cars, stores, clothes, etc. are shown in context. Perez Hilton drops the name of his blog and sings its praises.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are conversations about the abuse of, and addiction to, alcohol, cocaine, and opiates by adults and minors. Reenactments show minors drinking and smoking cigarettes. Cocaine is visible in one episode.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist is a docuseries about a well-publicized group of teens convicted for breaking into and stealing items from the homes of Hollywood celebrities. There's cursing, and reenactments feature minors drinking and smoking. Drug use, abuse, and addiction is also a theme. Luxury brand items, including Prada, Chanel, and others are shown and discussed within the context of the crimes being committed. Young women are also shown wearing skimpy, skin revealing outfits, too. The series also features brief excerpts from Alexis Neier's family reality show Pretty Wild! and Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, which was inspired by these events.
Is It Any Good?
The limited docuseries combines superficial facts with sensational elements to create a series that seeks to entertain rather than inform. Nick Prugo and Alexis Neiers sometimes contradict each other (and others) as they offer their points of view about their friendship and their criminal behavior. Meanwhile, conversations with folks like Alexis' mom Andrea Arlington and appearances by a flashy realtor identified as "Josh," remind us of the material wealth, the desire for fame, and self-created celebrity that has become synonymous with contemporary Hollywood. All of this is offered in the context of illustrating how the rise of social media and the popularity of celebrity-themed reality shows served as a major motivator for the teens' activities before and after they were caught. It also underscores how easily and readily investigators, lawyers, and others sought their 15 minutes of fame during the process. As a result, the severity of teenagers' crimes never really comes through. Furthermore, neither Prugo or Neiers appear truly remorseful about the harm they caused their victims, choosing instead to focus on more self-regarding details. If you like tabloid TV you might find The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist amusing. But if you're looking for new discoveries or fresh details about the crimes that were committed, you won't find it here.
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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