Austin & Ally

 
(i)

 

Squeaky-clean musical series with platonic boy-girl friends.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Occasionally viewers get to see pieces of the song-writing process, which, although fictional, is a good reminder that projects like this require patience and perseverance to accomplish.

Positive messages

The characters' emerging friendship illustrates the importance of seeing past a person's appearance (and your first impression of them) before passing judgment. Austin and Ally inspire something in each other that they couldn't find apart, and their friendship reflects their individual growth. The story incorporates current media like the Internet, which plays a role in the characters' fame, and spoofs modern-day TV like Ellen. There's some mild body humor.

Positive role models

Adults are mostly absent from the show. Ally's dad seems clueless about his daughter's whereabouts and less than supportive of her musical dreams, and Austin's parents are a nonentity. This allows them unlimited freedom, so they spend their time as they please and seem to have few responsibilities. In fact, Trish's inability to hold down a job is a recurring comedy point. On the upside, Austin and Ally are driven by their love of music and their desire to make something of themselves.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The characters post videos on a YouTube-style website called "MyTewb." Keep an eye out for a possible soundtrack by the show's stars.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series geared toward tweens centers on a positive relationship between a boy and a girl who bond over a shared love of music. Their friendship, which develops from an initial dislike of each other, is a good reminder that relationships with the opposite sex don't have to evolve into romantic intentions. The story itself is a bit far-fetched, thanks to the unlikely absence of adults to monitor the teens' unrestricted movements, and it does prompt thought about the role the Internet plays in assigning fame. On the whole, though, there's no reason to worry about the content, which often calls on silly sight gags and quirky characters for its laugh-a-minute comedy style.

What's the story?

AUSTIN & ALLY is a comedy series about polar-opposite teens who form an unlikely friendship through their mutual love of music. Fun-loving Austin (Ross Lynch) dreams of performing before adoring fans, but when it comes to writing songs, he lacks creativity. Serious and uptight Ally (Laura Marano) has a knack for expressing herself through the music she writes, but her shy nature keeps her from sharing her gift with anyone. When a chance encounter brings them together, they don't exactly hit it off, but then Austin strikes overnight Internet fame with a video of himself performing one of Ally's original songs, and they face off again. What begins as a contentious battle of wits softens into a friendship that just might help both of them follow their dreams.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's no secret that Disney favors fresh-faced young talents who can also carry a tune, and Austin & Ally's style is in perfect keeping with the likes of Hannah Montana, Lemonade Mouth, and Wizards of Waverly Place, all of which have spawned soundtracks and bolstered singing careers for their marketable stars. The star power is slightly diminished in this latest addition to the ranks, but Lynch and Marano do make a harmonic (if not exactly flashy) pair, which you can bet was Disney's intention. And while their friends are making beautiful music together, Austin and Ally's sparring sidekicks, Trish (Raini Rodriguez) and Dez (Calum Worthy), keep the mood light with their offbeat antics.
 

There's also merit to the story's statement about relationships, and kids will recognize how changing their perspective and giving each other a second chance led to the characters' successful partnership. Ultimately the story is rooted in a fantasy-filled and fairly sterile view of teen life, but it does present a healthy boy-girl friendship that encourages each partner to expand his or her horizons and isn't encumbered by the pressures of a developing romance.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. What character traits do you share with your friends? In what ways are you different from each other? Have you ever been surprised by a relationship you've developed with someone? How did it exceed your expectations? 

  • Tweens: What are some of your life dreams? How do they relate to your hobbies or reflect your values? How likely is it that you could make a living doing something that you love? What would be the rewards of such work?

  • Have you ever felt that a TV show or movie was trying to sell you something? How does subliminal advertising work? Do you find yourself gravitating toward products that bear the names or faces of your favorite stars? Is there anything wrong with that?

TV details

This review of Austin & Ally 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.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJennifer148 December 29, 2011
 

Almost As Horrible As Shake It Up

This show just made me really disappointed. It's not inappropiate or anything like that, it just is horrible. Disney is nowadays all about ''I rock at music'', or ''I am the best dancer ever''!! What happened to the old Disney. You know, the good Disney?
Adult Written byTinyToya December 4, 2011
 

Another Disney Show to Promote Music

This show is HORRIBLY predictable. It seems like Disney does not even try with the script anymore. I also don't like the premise of the show. Austin STOLE Ally's song, became famous from it and is now using her to be his songwriter. Admittedly, he did give her some credit on television while also causing her to have stage fright and embarrassing her. Finally, I hate how unrealistic the show is. It needs more adults, more purpose, and something realistic. Disney needs to quit focusing on promoting singers and music at the expense of the program.
Adult Written byLadyChaos118 April 22, 2012
 

The Teens Ugly Truth

I just don't get you parents, I'm 18 years old and just cause you want "safe" television for your children does not mean you have to take it from us Teens. Nothing on TV is safe for kids these days there is violence everywhere, that's just how it is. Parents want to baby proof everything, why don't you give your kids some independence with the stuff on TV? TV is a fantasy world, it just shows you what YOU want too see, the real world is out their and its nothing like TV shows you can't protect kids from everything. HELLO have you seen The Power Puff Girls?! Little girls that beat up monsters for a living, teach life lessons, romance, there is nothing to stop this from happening. You should stop "saving" your kids that don't want to be saved. Ask your kids what they want. Parents never listen to what we have to say. so this might get erased for my blunt disagreement. I love Austin and Ally but if there is no romance then its just another stupid censored show. It shouldn't be for kids just cause the parents want everything G rated. The parents will get what they want.

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