Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

Common Sense Media says

Kid-friendly message suffers from stupidity.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language

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.)

Consumerism

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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Stan Lee
Network:Syfy
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

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

Kid, 10 years old February 11, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

perfect for teens but not for 10 year olds

i love the show!Just a few things that concerns me,the profanity is kinda mild.The females a too sexy for my sister to watch.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old February 21, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 July 6, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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: Some of the female characters wear revealing outfits. Language: Some cursing, but it's bleeped out. Side note: One thing I don't understand is what part of this show, exactly, is reality? They don't really have superpowers.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

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

Essential School Tools