Back on Campus

Common Sense Media says

Funny concept, mildly successful -- teens and up.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Drinking is primarily seen as a fun part of the college experience, by both the kids (most of whom are over 21) and parents. The idea of alcohol abuse or overconsumption is treated with humor, rather than concern. One student is very focused on her studies and sports, and she's heavily encouraged to stop studying in order to attend a party.


A dad slaps his son on the head when he comes home drunk.


Sexy dancing; non-graphic discussion of sex; flirting.


"Ass" and other mild profanity -- but not much.


Products are blurred out.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking (some possibly involving underage students), some peripheral smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series portrays real college students and their parents drinking alcohol, often excessively. (Students are told that underage drinking isn't allowed, and most are over 21.) Some students are sexually active, though their exploits don't appear on camera. Overall, the show focuses on dorm shenanigans and parties more than classes and homework, giving a warped view of what college is all about.

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What's the story?

In BACK ON CAMPUS four college students who share a four-bedroom dormitory suite find themselves each sharing a room and attend classes with their parents for a semester. For the students, this arrangement presents some problems. For the parents, who have to follow in their kids' footsteps -- taking classes, getting part-time jobs, and attending keggers -- the challenge is to keep up with their offspring.

Is it any good?


Back on Campus begins with an interesting concept, for a reality show. One scene that really captures the essence of the series' concept occurs when the parents come home early from a party and complain about the lack of food at the event. The kids could care less about food as long as the booze doesn't run out, but the parents have learned from experience that it takes more than drinking to make a good party. Unfortunately, moments like that are rare, and but most of the show's characters aren't compelling enough to get viewers to watch what ends up being a rather dull experience focused primarily on partying.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the college experience. What was college like for parents? What do teens imagine their own experience will be like? Is this glimpse of the future exciting or scary? What do you think of the way the girl who chooses not to party is treated? Did you realize that peer pressure extended into college? How do you think you'd deal with it?

TV details

Cast:Susan Seborg
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Back on Campus was written by

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.

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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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