Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Who Wants to Be a Superhero? TV Poster Image
Kid-friendly message suffers from stupidity.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Wannabe superheroes are actually eliminated if they don't possess the following qualities: heart, compassion, intelligence, courage, honesty, and integrity.


For the most part, the superheroes are expected to use physical strength and smarts, not violence. In fact, one contender who carries an enormous gun around with him is continually reproached for his bloodthirstiness.


A few of the more scantily clad superheroes -- mostly female -- could be considered too sexy.


The show's language is pretty clean, with one exception: Outtakes from open-call auditions include one mention of the word "ass" -- and one character named Ice Bitch whose catchphrase is "Freeze, motherf---er!" ("F--k" is bleeped out.)


The grand prize winner earns the right to star in his or her own comic book developed by Stan Lee, as well as a starring role in a Sci Fi Channel original movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the usual reality show shenanigans (like excessive drinking and co-ed hot tub parties) are noticeably absent from this series, due in part to the influence of grandfatherly judge and executive producer Stan Lee. With the aid of stern lectures delivered via video conferencing, Lee -- who is most famous for co-creating Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Incredible Hulk -- makes it clear to contestants that this is a competition about virtues, not vices.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byyami0204 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old February 21, 2014
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 July 6, 2010

I liked it

I used to watch this show when it came on TV. I liked it; it's kind of corny but entertaining, too. Violence: Some action, but nothing too serious. Sex: So... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO?, a group of otherwise-normal adults leave their day jobs and don tights so they can compete against each other as outrageous superheroes of their own creation. Among the show's 12 superhero wannabes are Chelsea Weld (aka Cell Phone Girl), a leggy interior designer who saves the world one call at a time; Mary Votava (aka Monkey Woman), a tree-climbing financial investor who sounds a lot like Tarzan's sidekick, Cheeta; and Nell Wilson (aka Fat Momma), an overweight single mom with a serious donut habit.

Is it any good?

In theory, the show sounds like it could be fun. But in reality, Superhero is just too ridiculous to amount to anything that's actually worth watching. Despite the show's noble aims to find a real-life action figure in the flesh, most of the contenders are so painfully mortal that it makes the competition seem kind of sad. Try as they might, these hopefuls don't reveal themselves to be superheroes, just people in costumes -- and that's all.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about a few of the classic superheroes this show pays tribute to -- and whether good guys are becoming a dying breed. Is Superman still relevant to kids who have been raised on a new strain of anti-heroes like The X-Men? And is fighting evil with compassion and integrity any less exciting than using bombs, blades, and guns? Families might also have fun grilling each other about their superhero fantasies: If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself? What would your costume look like? And what would your secret powers be?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 27, 2006
  • Cast: Stan Lee
  • Network: Syfy
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

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