Welcome to the Parker

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Welcome to the Parker TV Poster Image
Behind the scenes at an elite hotel; teens and up.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shows people working really hard (usually) to please wealthy guests, who sometimes treat workers disrespectfully. Also reinforces the idea that rich people deserve better treatment than people with less money.

Violence

Some emotional scenes/arguments. In at least one episode, guests get injured off-screen during a drunken evening. Viewers see the aftermath -- minor cuts and scrapes. Rare physical threats.

Sex

Close ups on bikini-wearing bodies.

Language

Frequent profanity. The strongest words are bleeped, but ones like "bitch" and "ass" are uncensored.

Consumerism

The show takes place at a luxury hotel, and the price of services is highlighted to emphasize how expensive the hotel is.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some episodes include lots of over-the-top drinking, while others may only show some wine with dinner in the background. Some mention of drug use. Guests and staff sometimes smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality show documents life behind the scenes of a high-end hotel. Guests and staff drink and smoke frequently, and profanity, though often bleeped, is common. Some guests behave irresponsibly, destroying property and being disrespectful to other guests. Hotel managers sometimes rule by intimidation and can be ruthless with the staff. Arguments and tense emotional scenes are frequent. With the focus on catering to wealthy guests, there's an emphasis on money, celebrity, and influence. Guests willing to pay more often get better treatment, sending an iffy (but perhaps realistic) message to kids.

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What's the story?

WELCOME TO THE PARKER offers an inside peek at the high-end hospitality industry. This reality show documents the small dramas and major anxieties that come along with catering to the well-heeled clientele of a four-star Palm Springs hotel. The real-life characters include the oh-so-serious hotel manager, Samir, who demands perfection from his staff and threatens to fire anyone who doesn't meet his high standards; the funny, but perhaps unqualified catering manager; and Rocio, the chef who constantly tests her staff to see if they're up to snuff.

Is it any good?

Though guests are sometimes celebrities and always very rich, the more interesting characters are the staffers. Who works behind the scenes at the places where celebs hang out? What's their motivation, and how do they deal with clients' sometimes-strange demands? Welcome to the Parkerprovides some of the answers, though expert editing surely makes the most of the sometimes-dull everyday work of cleaning rooms, serving food, and bringing cold drinks to guests by the pool.

People fascinated by the service industry -- or those who just want a peek inside a hotel that most folks will never be able to afford --might enjoy the guilty pleasure viewing that the show provides. But it really hinges on characters, and unfortunately The Parker doesn't have any real standouts. With plenty of drinking, smoking, and bleeped cursing, this one's best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of behind-the-scenes reality shows. Why is it so much fun to watch these voyeuristic series? What does their popularity say about society's values? Families can also discuss the service industry. Does anyone in your family have experience in the industry? What are parents' and teens' impressions of this kind of work? What would be the most challenging aspects? The perks?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 26, 2007
  • Network: Bravo
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming

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