Chasing Life

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Chasing Life TV Poster Image
Conversation-starter drama has hopeful message.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The most enduring theme is one of inner strength and determination in the face of life's challenges. All characters bring emotional baggage to the mix and at times get weighed down by what they face, but the messages typically are hopeful. Characters who demonstrate positive traits such as honesty and forgiveness are most successful. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

April isn't perfect, and she's particularly prone to pushing moral limits when it comes to getting ahead at work. But when life throws her a curve ball, she meets it head on and without fear. She's surrounded by good people in her family and among her friends; the exception is her sister, Brenna, who's fighting her own emotional demons. 

Violence
Sex

Adults joke about using sex to help career aspirations. Playful banter implies that partners are interested in sleeping together. Suggestive terms such as "booty call" and "spreading your legs" are part of casual conversation. Kissing is shown. 

Language

Rarely "bitch."

Consumerism

References to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink beer and mixed drinks in social settings. Brenna uses alcohol and partying as an escape tactic, and it puts her in vulnerable situations because of her impaired judgment. There are references to drug use, and it's implied that it goes on at parties that teens attend. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chasing Life is an emotionally charged drama series that doesn't gloss over the fallout of the main character's struggle with her own mortality. The characters talk about death as it relates to April's situation and to the recent loss of her father. A rebellious teen escapes the pressures of her life by drinking and hanging out with a questionable crowd, which puts her in some dangerous situations from which she needs to be rescued by family members. Sex is a recurring topic of conversation and often includes crass references such as "booty call" and "spreading your legs," but physical encounters usually stop at kissing. Strong language such as "bitch" is rare. On the upside, this well-crafted series deals with serious issues with care and purpose, which yields good messages about the strength of the human spirit. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written byPrincessOso16 August 14, 2014

Great show

This show is really good, I think common sense media have the age rating right with 14+. It's a great show with good role models and can be happy, sad and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 16, 2014

Great show with a positive message

This show is very emotional so some people may cry every episode but the show is not only about cancer it is also about the relationships with the characters. T... Continue reading

What's the story?

After losing her father in a car accident and barely holding her family together, twentysomething April Carver (Italia Ricci) is finally taking a deep breath and embracing the possibilities of her future. She's gotten a big break at work, things are on the right track with her romantic interest, Dominic (Richard Brancatisano), and her widowed mother, Sara (Mary Page Keller), is moving past her grief. Then a chance encounter with her estranged uncle (Steven Weber) delivers news she never could have imagined: She has cancer. Suddenly her carefully laid plans threaten to crumble before her eyes as she wrestles with her own mortality. CHASING LIFE is the story of April's fight to recapture her bright future in the face of daunting odds.

Is it any good?

Adapted from a Spanish-language Mexican telenovela, Chasing Life adeptly tackles emotional issues such as family struggles, love, loss, and death. Ricci is superb in the role of April, a rising star in the news industry who refuses to give in to the unexpected hand she's dealt or to overburden her loved ones with her troubles. But she's no silent martyr either. She gives in to fear and a sense of unfairness from time to time, and those moments of raw emotion are what make her role so believable.

It's impossible to watch a story like this without imagining yourself in a similar real-life role, and that's the stuff that great entertainment -- and great discussions with your teens -- are made of. Chasing Life does an excellent job of keeping the content accessible by not overdramatizing what already are life-altering events. As April copes with her new reality, the fact that she does so with grace and determination and with the support of her family and friends bodes well for the show's messages about perseverance. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about getting through life's hard times. Teens: What are some of your sources of strength when you're facing a difficult challenge? What activities help you cope with stress? 

  • April struggles to put the past behind her, particularly when it comes to her relationship with her uncle. Why is forgiveness sometimes hard to give? What can be gained by reconciling past wrongs and moving forward? 

  • What are some examples of the kinds of love that exist among the characters? How does our capacity to love change for different people in our lives? How do you deal with relationships that have a negative effect on you? 

  • In what ways is alcohol used as an escape for one or more of the characters? What messages does this send about drinking? Is the element of its danger different for adults than it is for teens in the real world? Why, or why not? 

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate