The Superstars

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Superstars TV Poster Image
Athletes, celebs team up for fun, tween-friendly challenges.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show requires contestants to work as a team, identifying and relying on each member's skills. Each team consists of a man and a woman, but gender is rarely a disadvantage for the women, who show plenty of physical and mental strength.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the contestants demonstrate good sportsmanship even in defeat, but a few fly into tantrums when they lose, throwing things, cursing, and storming away from the camera. In at least one case, teammates turn on each other when things don’t go their way, and one mocks the other’s worth as a professional athlete after he struggles through a challenging obstacle course.  

Violence

No violence per se, but this is a very physical competition, so injuries like bumps, scrapes, and muscle strains are common.

Sex

Female competitors (and often a female commentator) wear curve-hugging sports bras and short athletic shorts. Occasionally men take their shirts off.

Language

Multiple instances of “f--k” are bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series' physical intensity, coupled with a few cast members' oversized egos, make for some tense exchanges -- but overall the contestants are good sports about the competition's outcome. Expect some intermittent strong language (multiple uses of "f--k" are bleeped) and plenty of spills, some of which result in injuries like bruises, cuts, and strained muscles. On the upside, the show lacks much of the backbiting and nastiness found in some reality competitions, and it's always fun to see celebrities of any sort step outside their comfort zones and try something new.

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What's the story?

In THE SUPERSTARS, professional athletes and celebrities pair up to compete in a series of athletic events. Based on the same-named 1970s series, the show puts the 16 competitors -- among them tennis champions, Olympic gold medalists, actors, and supermodels -- through challenges in sports like archery, kayaking, biking, and climbing. The pairs accumulate points based on their performance in each event; the lowest-scoring duos face off each day on an obstacle course, with the losing team going home.

Is it any good?

This fun, fast-paced series is a breath of fresh air amid the oppressive redundancy of most reality competitions. On the whole, there's very little griping and backbiting among the contestants, who focus more on strategy, teamwork, and fun than on trash-talking their opponents. The wide variety of the events also ensures that no one group of contestants has a clear advantage over the others, keeping the games unpredictable and exciting.

In the end, though, it is a competition, and a few contestants do let their egos overshadow their best efforts on the field. When tempers flare, so does the unsportsmanlike conduct, and there's some strong language directed at themselves and their teammates. Those familiar with flashier reality series like Survivor and The Bachelor will notice the absence of add-ons like dramatic music and lighting effects, but families with tweens and teens looking for a back-to-basics contest of physical strength, intensity, and strategy will have fun with this no-frills competition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about competition. What are some of the benefits of competition? What contests have you participated in? How did you prepare yourself for them? Were you inspired to improve your skills to compete again?

  • Families can also discuss sportsmanship. What does competition teach you about being a good sport? How do you think the contestants conducted themselves? Are they good role models for young athletes?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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