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 the reality show The Wanted Life might appeal to tween and teen fans of the pop band The Wanted's music, but because of the heavy drinking depicted in the series, sometimes without consequences, this isn't a great show for younger fans. Band members have a bar in their house and drink beer, shots, and mixed drinks frequently and talk about getting drunk often. There's also some strong language, though the strongest is bleeped. It also contains some crude references to genitals and comical reenactments of sexual acts.
What's the story?
THE WANTED LIFE is a reality series featuring the British pop band The Wanted, who have temporarily moved from the U.K. to Los Angeles to record their next album. Band members Siva Kaneswaran, Max George, Tom Parker, Jay McGuinesss, and Nathan Sykes lay down new tracks, go on press junkets, and perform for variety of audiences -- including the Obamas. Living with them in their L.A. mansion is Tom's girlfriend Kelsey, and Siva's long-term partner Nareesha. Monitoring their every move is their rather uptight day-to-day manager, Nano, and their lazy body guard, Kevin. From enjoying the beach to hosting over-the-top parties, the gang wants to enjoy everything that Southern California has to offer. But they soon learn that they will have to balance having fun with staying focused and behaving like responsible professionals in order to remain successful in the competitive Los Angeles music scene.
Is it any good?
The Wanted Life offers a voyeuristic look into the lives of a group of young singers who are just beginning to understand what it is like to become -- and remain -- successful in America. Viewers get to see the behind-the-scenes work they do, including laying down tracks, making endless media appearances, satisfying demanding managers, and trying to remain healthy to be able to record and perform regularly. They also get to watch as some of the band members act like teenagers and awkwardly navigate the dating world, while others try to live a more balanced lifestyle.
They're not perfect, especially when they begin to party too much or engage in other irresponsible behavior. But they are a likable, talented group who truly care about one another. Goofy scenes in front of the confessional camera also create some laughs. Ultimately, what these singers reveal is that despite being in the musical limelight, they are just regular young men who work hard and want to have some fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what goes into a popular band's success. Outside of recording hit songs, what kinds of things do bands have to do in order to stay popular and sell their music? What kinds of sacrifices do they have to make in order to work in the business?
Why does this band have its own reality show? Do you think the behavior they exhibit on camera is what they act like when the cameras are off? Do you think the cast make good role models? Why or why not?
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