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 behind-the-scenes reality show focuses on Jerry Springer's notorious talk show. Guests on the show punch, hit, smack, and otherwise go after each other in real physical fights. Producers actively encourage guests to attack one another verbally and physically, and real and staged scenes of intense arguing (including streams of profanity) are common. Situations involving mature issues like infidelity, deception, and racial prejudice are discussed.
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What's the story?
THE SPRINGLER HUSTLE goes behind the scenes with the producers of the notorious Jerry Springer Show, following individual producers as they try to piece together their segments while the clock ticks down. Producers hunt for titillating stories, interview potential guests, pitch their ideas to bosses, and then pull it all together in the final hours before going live in front of the talk show's studio audience. Interviews and footage of producers in the throes of their work give viewers a sense of the different producers' styles and a hint of what drives them to succeed in this competitive, unique profession. For example, one episode follows a producer named Selina as she puts together an old-fashioned \"ass-kicking\" show involving love triangles and racy secrets revealed on stage. Selina feels pressure to deliver the \"feisty\" segment that she pitched to the executive producer and is saved in the final hours by a new production assistant whose job was on the line if she didn't deliver.
Is it any good?
Fans of Jerry Springer -- or even those just curious about how the whole debacle is put together -- will find this show's "briefings," in which producers rehearse with booked guests, illuminating. The producers get riled up along with the guests, sweating, cursing, and throwing insults left and right in preparation for the show. During the show, they stand on the sidelines prepping guests with flattery, fashion advice, and encouraging words. Sometimes they even hand over lines that the guests then repeat verbatim on air.
Because the scenarios the producers deal with usually involve infidelity, deception, and nasty disagreements -- as well as full-on fistfights and steady streams of profanity -- younger viewers should tune out. Teens will survive a viewing, but parents may want to check in with them about the content of the show, particularly touching on the potential for exploitation of the guests.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about talk shows like The Jerry Springer Show. Why do people want to air their dirty laundry on television? Would you ever go on a show like this? Do you think guests are looking for fame? Do you think they get what they want by appearing on the show? Does this series change your impression of The Jerry Springer Show? How? What messages do you think this show is trying to send?