Truth Be Told TV Poster Image

Truth Be Told



Embarrassing problems more uncomfortable than informative.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

If anything, these are cautionary tales, even if they seem a tad exploitive and don't really get into the realm of treatment/solutions in much depth.

Positive role models

Some of the people being profiled see that they have a problem and are working to fix it. But others can't see the truth and continue to contribute to their situation. For example, an episode about hoarding features a man who swears he's merely a collector because his sutff is organized ... but simultaneously berates his wife for her hoarding while refusing to let her throw things away.

Not applicable

Some episodes touch on embarrassing medical conditions, which raises the possibility of clinical sex talk.


Words like "ass" are audible; those like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped (but you can still sometimes see/tell what's being said). Overall, swearing is infrequent, and much of it isn't that surprising justified given the situation.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series about people who suffer from challenges like hoarding, obsession, and problematic medical conditions is much less informative than it is exploitive. The show's "cinema verite" style means that viewers get an unvarnished look at the people being profiled, and their behavior isn't exactly exmplary all the time -- some swear, and some family members are unsympathetic and/or enabling.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

TRUTH BE TOLD is a series of short documentaries about people who have various disorders and problems -- including hoarding, addiction to plastic surgery, obssesive compulsive disorder, and obsession with pets. It's shot strictly as cinema verite, with no interviews. Indeed, with rare exceptions, it's as if the camera crew is merely a fly on the wall, observing the situation.

Is it any good?


Unfortunately, due to that same lack of interviews and narration, the show comes off as somewhat exploitive. On the plus side, there's no makeover team coming in to "make everything all right" -- but on the down side, there's no information about why people have these issues, and no suggestions for ways to deal with these sorts of challenges effectively.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this show seems more realistic than other "reality" series. Why? Do you think it was filmed as it actually happened, or could some of it be re-enacted? Does that make a difference?

  • Why do people with embarrassing problems decide to broadcast them on television? Would you ever do that?

  • What can a show like this teach us about being healthy?

TV details

Premiere date:August 12, 2009
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Truth Be Told was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Sensitive, intense docu about coping with anxiety disorders.
  • Hellish reality journeys are eye-opening.
  • Gritty -- but provoking -- reality show.
  • Show about nasty parasites isn't for the faint of stomach.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 January 1, 2010

Iffy for 14-16

In at least one episode, there was some mature s**ual content. Almost every episode seems to be rated TV-14-D for intensely s**ual dialogue.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement