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 characters spend most of each episode in their swimsuits. The female lead characters (17 and under) live with an older, attractive male surf coach in a house, without any parents. One teen runs away from home and has an alcoholic mother and an abusive father-figure. She also has a criminal history for stealing and drinks herself unconscious. Teens manipulate others to get what they want. Some of the girls are assertive, which may be perceived as using their sexuality to influence others -- which also happens. A threesome is implied, and there is some kissing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BEYOND THE BREAK washes over the lives of six teenage surfers: wealthy princess Dawn (Suzie Pollard), smart and sassy Birdie (Tiffany Hines), bad-girl Lacey (Natalie Ramsey), level-headed Kai (Sonya Balmores), bad-boy-next-door Bailey (Ross Thomas), and sidekick Shoe (Jason Tam). Thanks to a sponsorship from WaveSync, the wannabe surfers are given room and board -- complete with a former-surfing-legend-turned-coach, Justin (David Chokachi) -- and the chance to be competitive professionals. The four main female characters come from diverse backgrounds and bring many of their issues into the house. Fights ensue over boys, money, and surfing, and the girls are forced to learn life lessons without parental supervision. At the end of the day, friendships and bonds are formed, but not without a \"whodunit\" angle to keep the drama alive until the next episode.
Is it any good?
The show's visuals are more appealing (or appalling) than its storylines. The series is shot on location in Oahu, Hawaii, but the sandy beaches and crushing waves play second fiddle to teens constantly sporting their bikinis, washboard abs, short shorts, and glistening muscles -- all of which are prominently featured in slow-motion images as they surf the waves. The editing plays more like a music video than a TV series, and the scenes leave little room for character-driven plots.
To a distracting degree, Chokachi, a former Baywatch babe himself, is too young and attractive to play a realistic father-figure living with four 17-year-old girls. In the end, the show is entirely too sexual to drive home any real value or even warrant status as a "guilty pleasure" drama like The O.C. or Blue Crush.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about focusing on goals and going after what you want. How far would teens' parents be willing to let them go to achieve their goal in sports, education, or a future career? Do kids think the series' set-up is realistic? Would real teens be this wild/mature/focused if they were given this kind of responsibility and freedom?