A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this exercise-centric reality series focuses primarily on good looks instead of good health, which can potentially bring up body image issues among weight-conscious teen and adult viewers. Working out is presented as a positive thing, but very little is said about the fact that you don't have to have the same kind of body type as the people on the show to be considered healthy. Parents also need to know that this show follows a relationship between same-sex partners.
What's the story?
Following the life of Jackie Warner, an elite fitness trainer and co-owner of Sky Sport and Spa in Beverly Hills, WORK OUT showcases the body-conscious culture that has become synonymous with Los Angeles. With the help of several trainers, Warner caters to a clientele that includes celebrities, Playmates, jet setters, and anyone else who can afford the $400-an-hour fee. The show centers on a group of people who sport perfect hair and perfect physiques as they struggle to get along with each other. Drama arises as trainers learn to get along with each other while they also try to please both their clients and their boss. That leaves Warner contending with both the soap-opera-like conditions among her staff and her own growing tension with her jealous girlfriend, who can't understand why Warner spends so many hours trying to establish Sky Sport as one of the best fitness centers in the country.
Is it any good?
While all of the trainers showcased in this series have constructive individual philosophies about fitness that include helping people make "lifestyle changes" and learn to be comfortable with themselves, the show's overarching theme is really about showing off the bodies of beautiful people while they help train other beautiful people. Overweight clients are a rarity, and they stick out uncomfortably in the almost-too-perfect atmosphere of the penthouse gym.
As a result, Work Out sends mixed messages about what being healthy and fit really means. While the importance of exercise is certainly a point worth making, Work Out not-so-subtly equates fitness and well-being with physical perfection. The drama may be engrossing, but the take-away is pretty weak.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difference between looking thin and being healthy. Do you have to have a "perfect" body to be able to feel comfortable or happy? Why is it important to exercise even if it doesn't make you really thin? Families may also want to discuss sexual orientation and the challenges faced by those in same-sex relationships.
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