Parents' Guide to

Top This Party

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Petty social lifestyles of the rich and indulgent.

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In one episode, for example, Dobbin meets a newly divorced client who fits every Orange County stereotype: she's rich, blonde, and has huge breasts. She and her personal assistant want to throw a six-figure party to celebrate her single state. They proceed to complain every step of the way as Dobbin -- in his mellow, half-hippie way -- tries to accommodate their wild desires, only to nearly get fired when a yacht won't allow an open fire for a pig roast and plans for a backyard helicopter entrance don't pan out. But Dobbin pulls through, and his chef whips up a gorgeous Casino Royale-inspired menu.

The party planner shares his frustration with his clients and his staff with the camera in a very low-key way, and that's what saves the show from utter absurdity -- though not by much. When Dobbin complains, viewers share in his frustration, laughing at the follies of the rich. But laughing at the rich doesn't feel very good. And seeing the kind of money being spent on decorations alone is sad. Overall, Top This Party feels like one more show in a long line of reality shows about rich people that doesn't serve much of a purpose -- even plain old entertainment.

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