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 series about spoiled women who are tricked into participating in a reality show designed to help them change their behavior contains some good messages, mixed in with lots of iffy content. While the show's stated intention is to encourage the women to be less selfish and more strong and independent, these messages are offered within the context of over-the-top reality moments, including cat fighting, salty language (“bitch,” “hell,” “ass”; plus stronger words muted), excessive drinking, and smoking (including a hookah pipe). It also contains stereotypes about America’s middle class. Not surprisingly, expensive brands like Mercedes-Benz, Louis Vuitton, Charles David, etc. are frequently seen or discussed.
What's the story?
YOU’RE CUT OFF! is a reality show designed to teach a spoiled diva-like women the importance of being strong, independent, and less materialistic. The series features nine women whose lives consist of shopping, partying, and endless self-absorbed behavior thanks to their overindulgent parents and other wealthy benefactors. But their lives are turned upside down when, after being led to believe that they have been cast in a reality series designed to document their lavish lifestyles, they discover that the people who have been supporting them have cut them off financially. In addition, they must participate in an eight-week “Princess Program” where they must cook, clean, work, and learn to live like the average person. Life coach Laura Baron monitors their progress, and celebrity guests like Perez Hilton and The Apprentice’s Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth occasionally pop in to offer their guidance. The women must earn privileges in order to complete the program. But their greater challenge is to prove to their benefactors that they have changed for the better, or risk being cut off forever.
Is it any good?
The series is intended to show how these women must take responsibility for their narcissistic and egotistical behavior in order to understand that there is more to life than material wealth. It also underscores how the overindulgence of loved ones, as well as deep-seated psychological issues, also contributes to their behavior.
It contains some good messages, but the show focuses more on the cast members' attitudes, which are so entertainingly over-the-top that it makes the women seem more like caricatures than real people. In between the catfights and salty language, it also offers a lot of stereotypes about what constitutes being middle class or “average” in America. Bottom line? Like overindulgent parents, the producers of this show may have had some good intentions, but eventually lost site of what is really important.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether reality shows can really help people improve their lives. Do you think these women will really be different when the series is over? Do you think reality shows that encourage positive values are as popular as those that promote negative ones? Why or why not?
How does the media contribute to people’s attitudes about consumerism and material wealth?
For kids who love reality TV
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