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 reality series made up of personal documentaries filmed by four college freshmen is a pretty unfiltered look at life after high school. Expect lots of drinking -- much of it underage -- as well as strong language and plenty of strong sexual references. Teens may well be interested in checking out these college experiences, but this is one to watch with your teens so you can talk about the students' choices and challenges (try our tips on how to talk about these issues).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
COLLEGE LIFE follows four college freshmen -- Jordan, Andrea, Alex, and Kevin -- as they film themselves during their first year of school. The students (who attend various schools across the country) document all the freedom, stress, and drama that come along with forming new relationships, balancing school work with a social life, and being challenged by different points of view. As they share their stories, they offer their personal thoughts about their experiences -- and how college life is changing their perspective about the world.
Is it any good?
Overall, the series offers a unique perspective on college life by allowing the students to film their day-to-day lives without the help or support of a production crew. But while the way in which these freshmen choose to share their lives may be unique, the scenes of students drinking, studying, arguing, and finding ways to entertain themselves aren't particularly inspiring. And even when they do seem to learn some life lessons along the way, it's hard to appreciate what they're feeling thanks to the fragmented way in which their stories are pieced together in each half-hour episode.
Ultimately, a lot of what's shown here doesn't break away from the typical (and often stereotypical) images of college students in the media. Teens will probably be drawn to the show for its entertainment value and because it gives them some ideas about what college life will be like if/when they get there. But some of the featured behavior -- including excessive drinking, conversations about sex, and strong language -- make it somewhat iffy viewing.
Talk to your kids about ...
How do you handle peer pressure when you're away at school?
If you were asked to document your life 24/7, what kinds of things would people see? What kind of story would you tell? Do you think it would be interesting enough to show on television?