Tough as Nails

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Tough as Nails TV Poster Image
Women rule in this slightly soapy construction reality show.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show demonstrates that it's possible for a woman to succeed in a male-dominated industry. It also sends positive messages about family. Divorce is also major theme here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cindy Stumpo is a strong leader, a smart businesswoman, and a good mom, but struggles with her personal life. She is teaching daughter Stephanie the business so that she can run it in the future.


Cindy talks tough to her contractors and employees so that they get the job done. Cindy and her husband argue regularly.


There’s lots of conversations about Cindy’s relationship with her ex-husband, and a potential relationship with her best friend. Hugging and (somewhat) platonic kissing is visible (but nothing sexual).


Occasional strong words like “damn” are audible. Profanity is completed muted.


C. Stumpo Development Company is prominently featured. Logos for Nike, Yves St. Laurent, etc. are visible, but their placement is not obvious.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series featuring a tough-talking female real estate developer and contractor who owns and successfully manages her business, sends some positive messages about women succeeding in male-dominated industries. While much of the focus is on her business and contracting skills, a lot of the drama comes from her unique relationship with her ex-husband and with her construction foreman. The show is generally family friendly, but it does contain some occasional mild language (“damn”) and conversations about divorce and relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bymeesha June 4, 2010
I love this show. Cindy is hard working and stands behind her name. I wish I had a job working for her. Smart women....
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byFAKERS May 12, 2010



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What's the story?

TOUGH AS NAILS is a reality show featuring successful Boston luxury developer Cindy Stumpo as she manages a multi-million dollar company while trying to balance her personal life. The construction veteran oversees teams of contractors and employees, including Stumpo’s mom, Beverly, and her 21-year old daughter Samantha. It’s definitely a family affair, but one that makes her personal life a little complicated, thanks to her close working and personal relationship with her ex-husband Joe Stumpo, and her best friend/construction foreman Michael Rebholz. Luckily, Cindy’s grandmother, aka Nana, is there to help her regroup and find a little humor along the way.

Is it any good?

The series showcases Cindy Stumpo as a strong and independent woman who, as the owner and manager of her own company, is both a shrewd businessperson and a natural leader. It also shows how, as a single mother, she is committed to the present and future well-being of her adult children.

These themes are definitely positive, but they are somewhat diminished by the show’s focus on her soap opera-like struggle with emotional attachments she has to her ex-husband and to her foreman. While it makes the show more voyeuristically entertaining, it also takes the attention away from her professional success in a male-dominated industry.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it is like to work in a field or industry that is usually dominated by people of a specific gender. What is it like to work in an all-male environment if you are female? What if you are male and work in a predominantly female-oriented career? What are the challenges? Benefits?

  • How real do you think the relationship Cindy Stumpo has with some of the cast members of the show are? Why would she discuss them on television? Do you think it is hyped up to make the show more entertaining? Why or why not?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality television

Themes & Topics

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