The Rev

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Rev TV Poster Image
Reality show has positive messages about family, faith.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The Rev is about successfully working and living together as a family and community. The Rev is also unique in that it casually shows people diligently incorporating COVID protocols into their daily lives.

Positive Role Models

The Hartley family squabbles but clearly listens to and cares for one another. Richard Hartley displays a willingness to adapt his own behavior to benefit others.


Sexual content is limited to basic romantic relationships and dating.


No objectionable language is used on The Rev, though sometimes a character will substitute an everyday word for an expletive, like "helicopter" instead of "hell."


Storylines on The Rev are built around product placement. For example, the first episode features a "relationship workshop" that is just a springboard to talk about brand-name dating apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drinking, drugs, or smoking are featured on The Rev.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Rev is a reality TV show about Richard "The Rev" Hartley, a pastor and renowned gospel choir director, and his family. The tight-knit Hartley family includes Richard and Stacey and their adult children Judea and Jordan. The family lives together in Queens, New York while working to run a Long Island church that has been in his family for years. The series is mostly about how the family successfully lives and works together, with most scenes taking place in the household or at church. Filmed in 2020, The Rev shows the Hartleys and members of the church diligently incorporating COVID-19 protocols into their everyday life. Storylines on The Rev are often built around product placement. For example, the first episode features a relationship workshop at the church that gives characters an opportunity to talk about brand name dating apps at length.

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What's the story?

Richard THE REV Hartley is a renowned pastor and gospel choir director. After years on the road, directing choirs across America and the world, the Rev returns to New York to run his family's church on Long Island. The Rev lives in Queens with his wife, Stacey, and his adult children, Judea and Jordan, who are also heavily involved with the church. As the family lives and works together, the Rev must figure out how to grow his church's community without completely driving off his family.

Is it any good?

It's easy to see how Richard Hartley ended up on a reality TV show. He's a huge personality with a massive ego who still manages to be charming and caring. The Hartley family is similarly captivating, with daughter Judea matching Richard's feistiness, while Stacey and Jordan quietly ground the foursome. But like plenty of other reality TV shows, The Rev ends up pushing too hard for manufactured drama. So Hartley and his family's easy charm is mostly wasted on product placement and corny jokes. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about family! What is unique about Hartley family? How do they treat one another? How do they work together at the church?

  • How do the Hartleys resolve issues with each other? How do Richard and Stacey's parenting styles differ? Do they communicate with Jordan differently than they do with Judea?

  • What makes the Rev a successful choir director? What leadership qualities does he display? Are his techniques successful? Why or why not?

TV details

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