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 since this is a game show, at least five contestants leave the stage empty-handed each time -- but the lighthearted atmosphere keeps the focus away from competition and on the fun of the contest instead. Adults may find it all a bit on the cheesy side, but overall this is a fun watch for families with kids old enough to recognize the songs and chime in with their own lyric attempts.
What's the story?
THE SINGING BEE is a high-energy musical game show that disregards contestants' singing expertise in favor of whether they can get the lyrics exactly right. Can't carry a tune? Who cares! But a misplaced \"well\" or \"and\" -- or even a forgotten \"oh!\" -- could mean the difference between victory and defeat. In each episode, six hopefuls are welcomed to the stage to compete in a series of lyrical challenges. The show's extensive band starts off each song to jog the contestant's musical memory, then stops; as the contestant belts out the lyrics to complete the line, his words run along the bottom of the screen. When there's an error, a buzzer goes off, and the incorrect word or words flash in bright red letters. The field is narrowed as contestants who stumble over the words are eliminated. After three rounds, the last one standing moves on to \"The Final Countdown,\" where each correct answer earns cash, up to a possible $50,000.
Is it any good?
It certainly won't give a legend like The Price Is Right a run for its money, but The Singing Bee is just zany enough to gather a following of fans, and it's a good bet that some families will be counted among them: Parents who can tolerate the fairly high cheese factor will enjoy watching with tweens and teens. Song selections offer a little for everyone, dating from the 1960s through the present, and it's always fun to pit your knowledge against someone else's.
While there's nothing here to keep younger kids from watching, too, they may find it boring since they probably won't know most of the songs. So if you think your rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" doesn't miss a beat and you can list every single thing Right Said Fred was too sexy for, here's your chance to put yourself to the test.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competition in the media. Why are game shows and competitive reality shows so popular? Do you like that kind of show? How much of the competition seems enhanced for drama? Do any of these shows seem more believable or serious than others? How does media coverage of true competition like sporting events compare to the airtime given to reality shows? What does that say about how viewers like to be entertained?