What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that WakeBrothers features constant insults, which range from merely mocking to actually hurtful, as well as some strong language ("f--k" is bleeped). The featured brothers also engage in wakeboarding stunts, which sometimes result in injuries. The most troubling aspect for parents will probably be the near-constant sniggering adolescent references to sex, as when a friend wonders whether Phil Soven has any "nakeds" to show of his girlfriend on his computer, or Bob Soven brags that he plans to lose his "v-card" in his bedroom. Parents may also wish that the show focused a little more on the brothers' athletic accomplishments rather than their pranks and hijinks out of the water. But there are worse shows teens could watch. At least the Sovens have a vocation and a close-knit family to rely on, which is evident despite their sibling rivalry.
What's the story?
Professional wakeboarding brothers Phil and Bob Soven are the stars of MTV's WAKEBROTHERS, a reality show that follows the Sovens' stunts and hijinks in the Florida mini-mansion they share. Wakeboarding is a sport much like waterskiing, and the Sovens lead the professional ranks in fierce competition with each other. In the water they battle to see who can perform the most death-defying stunts; off the job, they playfully insult each other, throw parties, opine about women and the chance they have with them, and generally live like young, rich, louche bachelors on top of the world.
Is it any good?
The Soven siblings are not without their charms. They're good looking, successful at their job, satisfied with their lives, and clearly very fond of each other and the rest of their family, who often appear at parties or at Bob and Phil's house to offer advice. On the other hand, their adolescent horndog antics are wearying, particularly for parents, who will wince when Bob points at himself and proudly crows "This guy got laid!" while brother Phil says "She was gross!" They also won't be jazzed by Bob wondering whether he can get a "boob squeeze" off a blind date; his brother answers that he might be able to "sneak one in."
Despite the cringe-worthy leers and jokes about women, the brothers can occasionally be sweet to each other, as when Bob buys Phil an apology cake for an early morning prank. On their boards, the brothers are fun to watch if occasionally a bit nerve-wracking, as when a group of male and female wakeboarders tries out a dangerous new piece of equipment at a Soven house party. The main emotion WakeBrothers will arouse in young viewers is probably envy, as the show makes it look like pro athletes do little other than carouse with their friends and occasionally perform stunts for cheering crowds. It's not very realistic reality, but it's confectionery summer fun that goes down smoothly.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why viewers rarely or never see the Sovens practicing wakeboarding on the show. Can an athlete rise to a pro level in a sport without a lot of practice? What does the fact that the viewer doesn't see that practice reflected on WakeBrothers say about the show's "reality" (or lack thereof)?
Why would MTV choose to set a show around a sport like wakeboarding, where athletes and those around them are frequently scantily dressed in bathing suits? Would a show about athletes who performed covered up, like skiers, be as interesting/telegenic?
Are viewers meant to like the Soven brothers? What about the way they're presented gives you this impression?