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 this series about real estate investment probably won't interest younger viewers and isn't intended for them anyway. That said, there's not much problematic material, although profit and personality conflict are definitely emphasized. A pair of employees will sometimes butt heads on a decision, and their boss sometimes seems to relish the conflict. But despite some false starts, disagreements are often resolved professionally. Most of the male owner's employees are younger and female; he relies heavily on them, praises them frequently, and treats them professionally.
What's the story?
THE REAL DEAL follows the busy operations of a South Carolina real estate investment business as staffers buy, renovate, and sell properties, often within an incredibly short period of time. (Interestingly, the group featured here previously appeared in a similar show called Flip This House.) Richard Davis (who often seems like an overgrown boy throwing fits, making unreasonable demands, and creating big messes) owns Trademark Properties, and with the help of his trusted assistants -- including young-but-experienced Ginger, who heads up the business' investment properties division -- Richard pulls through tough spots to make impressive profits again and again. Viewers are walked through the investment and renovation process, with numbers appearing onscreen to reflect the purchase price, estimated repair costs, likely selling price, and, finally, the hoped-for profit. Typically, Trademark is aiming for a specific deadline, which helps build tension.
Is it any good?
For real-estate junkies, The Real Deal is a fun half hour, giving viewers a glimpse of the thrills and disappointments that come with renovating a house. Because in this case it's a company buying houses rather than an individual, you don't get the sense of immense personal risk that's often associated with the financial commitment of real estate, but Trademark is small enough -- and the personalities appealing enough -- that viewers are likely to feel a connection.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why shows about houses and real estate are so popular. Do you think viewers learn anything useful from these programs, or is it mostly just vicarious living? Does anything about this particular series surprise you? Do you feel like you have a sense of how the real estate business works after watching? Families can also discuss renovating a house. What would you like to change about where you live now? Did this show give you an idea of how easy or difficult that change might be?