Undercover Boss: Abroad
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Corporate spy reality spin-off is mild and positive.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show's theory is that CEOs who understand how their corporate decisions impact the quality of their products and services, as well as their employees' professional and personal lives will run a better business. There are some underlying messages about class and achievement that come up when contrasting the CEOs and the entry-level workers, but this isn't an explicit focus of the show.
Positive Role Models
CEOs appear willing to work towards improving specific problems and rewarding specific employees for their hard work. Most of the employees featured are outstanding, but a few do not have a great work ethic.
The use of vocab like "ass" is rare, but fully bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Global corporations like Domino's Pizza, Best Western, YMCA, and Isuzu Trucks are featured. Occasionally logos for cars like Lamborghini and Toyota mentioned and/or visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Bars and restaurants featured on the series sometimes show people drinking alcoholic beverages.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series spinoff -- which features CEOs from global companies like Domino's Pizza and Best Western Hotels secretly working as entry-level employees -- underscores how companies have a responsibility toward the people who work for them. Some personal stories of workers can be emotional, so not all kids will feel comfortable watching. There is some occasional bleeped salty language (like "ass"), and drinking in restaurants is sometimes visible. Illness and other personal challenges are discussed, and some tasks performed include cleaning soiled bathrooms and other unpleasant tasks.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
UNDERCOVER BOSS: ABROAD follows executives of major corporations around the world as they go undercover to get a first-hand look at what is keeping their companies from reaching their full-potential. The reality series spinoff features CEOs from companies like Best Western Hotels and Domino's Pizza disguising themselves and working at entry-level positions in various branches and departments of their company. While there, they learn more about how their corporate policies are impacting the business, as well as the people who are working for them. After a week or two of working incognito, the CEO then reveals herself to the unsuspecting people she met during the week, and shares her observations about what she learned from them.
Is It Any Good?
Each episode, which is imported from the British and Australian versions of the Undercover Boss franchise, offers a voyeuristic opportunity to watch CEOs discover some of the flaws in their corporate policies while learning about some of the day-to-day struggles their employees face to keep things running in a struggling economy. But much of the show is committed to highlighting the stories of specific workers, whose hard work for the company has gone mostly unrecognized.
One can't help but suspect that the CEO is purposely introduced to people and/or situations to create an entertaining show. You also can't help but wonder how inspired some of the executives remain after the cameras are turned off. Nonetheless, it succeeds in highlighting the importance of bridging the gap between executives and the people who make the companies run at the most basic level.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the media portrays people working in the corporate environment vs. those who work in lower-level positions. What are some of the stereotypes associated with each? How do the representations of these positions differ in other countries?
Do you think that what the CEOs are doing here is ethical? If it leads to positive changes, do the ends justify the means? Are there ways to find out the same information without lying or being sneaky?
- Premiere date: February 13, 2012
- Cast: David Clarke, Don Meij, Nick Cox
- Networks: OWN, TLC
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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