The X Effect
By Sierra Filucci,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Tawdry car-wreck of a dating show isn't for kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show's whole premise is to see whether exes will hook up with each other even though they're now in other relationships.
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of charged sexual scenarios, including suggestive dances, games, food sharing, kissing, and massaging. Some off-screen sex, and occasional blurred nudity.
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Frequent profanity. The worst is bleeped, but words like "bitch" and "ass" are uncensored.
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Products & Purchases
Resort name is prominant (La Quinta).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Champagne flows freely.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sexed-up dating show trivializes relationships, tempting former flames to hook up again even though they're now seeing other people. Reunited exes spend time together wearing skimpy bathing suits, playing suggestive games, giving each other sensual massages, kissing and groping, and sometimes having sex (off screen, of course). Men and women are both highly critical of their competition, sometimes making derogatory comments about their appearance, personality, or morals. Some confrontations occur, but though they're tense, they don't get violent. Expect strong emotions and plenty of cursing (although the worst is bleeped).
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What's the Story?
In THE X EFFECT, two exes and their current partners are invited to a romantic resort under false pretenses. The exes are then reunited, spending a weekend sharing a suite, fine food, plenty of bikini time, and -- if viewers are \"lucky\" -- some drunk hot-tub action. What the former couple doesn't know is that their main squeezes are watching them from a secret location at the same resort. Their weekend is much less pleasant, since they're tortured with cruel choices (for example, would they rather watch their lovers with the sound off or hear what they're saying without a video feed?). As anyone familiar with this type of show can imagine, things heat up pretty quickly for the former flames; once the champagne starts flowing and the clothes come off, it's all downhill. As the weekend ends, the couples meet again, and the exes get to choose who they want -- their ex or their current lover.
Is It Any Good?
The X Effect is a car wreck of a show. The meetings between the current and former couples are awkward, painful, and sometimes surprising, and there are no redeeming social lessons other than perhaps "don't sign up to be on an MTV dating show." It's certainly not an age-appropriate pick for kids -- or even teens. That said, if teens do watch, they probably won't see anything they haven't seen before (unless two people eating a single Twinkie at the same time counts).
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why and how shows like this get made. What's the appeal of watching two people potentially cheat on their significant others? Is it just meant to be a guilty pleasure? Is it responsible to turn the make-or-break points in other people's relationships into a TV show? Why do you think people choose to go on a show like this? Would you ever want to try out for any type of reality show? If so, which? How do you think shows like this get people to participate when they obviously don't know all the details when they're going into it?
- Premiere date: June 6, 2007
- Cast: Natalia Castellanos, Thomas Bridegroom
- Network: MTV
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
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