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 reality/talent show focuses on female bartenders who dance, sing, and generally rile up their customers with bawdy talk and enthusiastic displays of their body and their talents. Both bartenders and customers imbibe massive amounts of alcohol -- shot-drinking contests, etc. -- with no discussion of responsible drinking practices as a counterpoint. Many scenes combine the excessive drinking with sexuality. (In one scene, for example, a bartender kneels on a bar with her male customer's head pressed against the bar, squeezed underneath her bottom.) On a positive note, the women are friendly and very supportive of one another, despite the fact that they're competing for a cash prize.
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What's the story?
In ULTIMATE COYOTE UGLY SEARCH, nine of the famous saloon chain's female bartenders compete to be named the best, while simultaneously training wannabe Coyotes to perform alongside them. The girls must compete based on their sexy outfits, their song-and-dance routines, and the gusto with which they serve drinks. Chain owner/original Coyote Liliana \"Lil\" Lovell is a tough boss and a brutal critic but she retains an emotional connection to the women and sheds a tear when she has to eliminate one from the competition. The competition starts at the Coyotes show off their talents by singing, dancing, bartending, and entertaining real bar customers in Nashville, but as the competition progresses, the women recruit and train partners to help them win a prize of $50,000.
Is it any good?
While Lil and the Coyotes often mention how empowered the chain's bartenders are, one viewing will probably be enough to convince most people that they're simply glorified exotic dancers. But for some it's a way to make good money while showing off some creativity; for others, it's an exploration into a whole different way of presenting oneself to the world; and others are just having a great time.
Because of the show's emphasis on alcohol and provocative behavior, as well as its confusing messages about gender and sexuality, chances are most parents will want their kids to avoid it. Mature teens might be attracted to the sexed-up American Idol-like concept, but since the series doesn't offer any examples of -- or discussion about -- drinking responsibly, parents will want to offer some of their own advice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what the show is saying about women. Can any of these women be considered role models? Why or why not? Do you think the women are being empowered or sexualized (or both) in their roles as Coyotes? Can a woman say she's empowered but not actually be empowered? How would the bar's dynamic change if the bartenders were male? How are the Coyotes different than exotic dancers?
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