There Goes the Neighborhood

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
There Goes the Neighborhood TV Poster Image
Suburban "social experiment" gets pretty un-neighborly.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While some families use this opportunity to get closer together, the desire for the prize money prompts neighbors to behave poorly to each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some of the families turn on their closest neighbors during the competition. The families are upper middle class; the majority of them are Caucasian. One family is of mixed racial heritage; another is a blended family

Violence

Frequent arguing among participants.

Sex
Language

Words like “screwed," “piss,” and “crap" are audible; occasional strong curse words like “s--t” are bleeped.

Consumerism

Rewards include products like Minute Maid lemonade and Klondike ice cream bars -- all of which are clearly referred to by name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Participants are seen drinking beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality competition -- in which eight suburban families, confined to their neighborhood by a large concrete wall, go up against each other for a cash prize -- features plenty of arguments and tense moments. While the series' content is generally okay for older tweens (there's a little bit of drinking, and words like “piss” and “crap” are audible, while those ike “s--t” are bleeped), it doesn't send the best messages about maintaining friendships and being a good neighbor.

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What's the story?

In THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, eight families from a suburb of Kennesaw, Georgia, must live behind a massive concrete wall that cuts them off from the outside world. Each family must learn to bond with each other while coping without electricity and other comforts -- and they also have to work together to win challenges for rewards and/or immunity from elimination. At the end of each episode, the families vote to decide who should live on the other side of the wall until the competition is over. The family that manages to stay in their home until the end wins $250,000.

Is it any good?

The series seeks to entertain viewers by pitting close neighbors against each other within an artificial environment to see how they'll react and/or change in exchange for money. Not surprisingly, this "social experiment" creates lots of uncomfortable moments, especially when long-time neighbors hurt one another’s feelings during elimination voting.

Sadly, many of the participants express some serious doubt about whether their friendships will be able to continue after the competition is over. But that doesn’t seem to stop some of them from appearing greedy and competitive as they strategize against one another. As a result, the show sends mixed messages about the importance of being neighborly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's premise. Would you agree to compete against your own neighbors for money? Why or why not? How do you think the competition might affect your relationships?

  • What makes a strong neighborhood? What are the benefits of living in a community where neighbors are close?  Are there any disadvantages? 

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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