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, because this "highlights" show rounds up the best of the worst when it comes to television and pop culture, teens who watch will be exposed to an ever-changing roster of iffy content. Any given episode could include mentions of threesomes and drunken outbursts or clips of two scantily clad people sharing a bed. But it could also feature relatively harmless compilations of Paula Abdul saying ridiculous things like "I love you. I want to hang you from a string on my rearview mirror." You never know. The tone is generally snarky and sarcastic, inviting viewers to join in on the fun of mocking celebs and reality show stars.
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What's the story?
In THE SOUP, host Joel McHale shepherds viewers through an unruly landscape of mostly bad television, pointing out each week's most embarrassing and ridiculous moments via video clips -- and making fun of them accordngly. Although some newsy tidbits pop up from time to time, this is no news show; it's essentially a roundup of pop culture minutae. Regular segments include "Chat Stew," "Reality Show Clip Time!" and "Let's Take Some E!"
Is it any good?
If you're a pop culture junkie and can't stay away from shows that are so bad that they're somehow good, The Soup actually makes your life easier. "We watch so you don't have to," goes the show's motto -- and that pretty much sums up its value. Don't have time to watch trainwreck-worthy fare like Kendra or The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Let The Soup watch for you and collect the most cringe-worthy stuff. Don't really want to watch The Wendy Williams Show but can't help being fasincated by her antics? No problem. The Soup is here.
Of course, neither The Soup nor its irreverant host take themselves seriously -- and neither should you. After all, the show isn't meant to be anything more than pure guilty pleasure entertainment ... and in that department, it delivers in spades.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether shows like this point out the absurdity of TV programming or merely feed the beast. Why do shows with the most ridiculous content tend to be the most popular? Why are so-called "train wrecks" so appealing?
How does this show treat celebrities? Does it revere them or tear them down? Are most of the celebs featured good role models or bad ones?
How do you think the show chooses which "stories" to run? Do you ever learn something by watching, or is it just mindless entertainment?