East Los High TV Poster Image

East Los High



Edgy Latino teen soap raises timely issues in sensitive way.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Portrays life in an inner-city high school; themes range from teen angst to drugs, gangs, and racial/ethnic themes.  

Positive role models

Students often hardworking, goal-oriented; some engage in risky behavior. Parents often positive role models; some adults use and abuse teens within drug culture. 


Arguments, violent street fights, gang-related crime, murder, guns. Prison violence addressed.  


Strong sexual innuendo; people in various stages of undress (no nudity). Simulated sex is brief. Virginity, promiscuity themes. Condoms visible. 


"Bitch," "hell," "s--t"; curses in Spanish.


Sprite, various beer labels partially visible. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (beer, tequila), pot smoking visible. Illegal drug sales (cocaine, heroin) a theme.  

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that East Los High is a gritty, partially dance-themed teen soap featuring an all-Latino cast and set in inner-city East Los Angeles. The plot approaches big issues such as drugs, sex, teen pregnancy, immigration, and violent crime in a thoughtful way that's also respectful to the characters' Latino-American and urban culture. Likewise, all the teens' decisions in matters like these have realistically drastic consequences to be dealt with. There's no nudity but lots of strong sexual innuendo, including brief simulated sex scenes. Street violence is graphic, involving shootings and fistfights that hurt and, in some cases, kill. Drugs and drug violence are also major themes. It's not for young kids but can serve as a starting point for discussing some of these issues with teens. 

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

EAST LOS HIGH centers on a group of teens struggling to survive their senior year of high school in a tough inner-city neighborhood. The story begins with a smart, innocent teen named Jessie (Janine Larina), who balances her hopes of popularity against her desire for a brighter future away from East Los Angeles. She harbors a crush on the school hottie, Jacob (Gabriel Chavarria), who's involved with the vicious popularity queen Vanessa (Tracy Perez). Other recurring characters include Soli (Noemi Gonzalez), Jessie's best friend; Maya (Alicia Sixtos), Jessie's long-lost cousin who left home under uncertain circumstances; Ceci (Danielle Vega), Vanessa's friend, who follows the diva's lead on terrorizing their social nemeses; and Christian (Hector David, Jr.), Jessie's attractive dance teacher. Characters and problems may come and go as they work their way through high school and beyond, but these teens persevere to make their lives as meaningful as they can.

Is it any good?


The series is arguably a "real-life" drama thanks to the gamut of personalities and likability of the characters. Each season follows a new group of teens, while still featuring some of the original cast members, which ensures that every social niche is represented, from the conniving social diva to the troubled street kid. But this series manages to represent each personality with far more substance than stereotypical fluff, making it more genuine. Meanwhile, it debunks some stereotypes and touches on strong topics and their real-life consequences without sugarcoating them.

There's lots of entertaining dance scenes and a few lighthearted moments. Nonetheless, this isn't a feel-good drama. Instead, it's a soap opera that offers an interpretation of what life is like for a community defined by its members' ethnic heritage and working class backgrounds. The result may or may not be a social setting your teens are used to, since it's very specifically set in East Los Angeles. Regardless, it raises a number of issues that likely trickle into their lives, giving parents a good reason to start conversations with them about what's portrayed here. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how realistic this show is (or isn't). Teens: Based on your experiences, are the characters' lives believable? Do teens really talk and act like they do here?

  • What are your family's rules about dating? What dangers exist with casual or unprotected sex? What messages do you get from the media about sexuality? How do you reconcile that with your own values?

  • To what degree are we shaped by our surroundings? Do you see the same problems in your school or neighborhood that plague these characters? How would you deal with similar scenarios differently from how they do?

TV details

Premiere date:June 3, 2013
Cast:Gabriel Chavarria, Janine Larina, Tracy Perez
Topics:Friendship, High school
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of East Los High 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.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.
  • A coming-of-age drama that's great for teen girls.
  • Mature teen angst at its best.
  • Edgy but heartfelt British coming-of-age tale wows.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bynatividadt July 23, 2016

Great show

Amazing talent and life lessons
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byDietcoke July 15, 2015

East Los High on Hulu

East Los High is an amazing show. I have watched seasons 1,2, and 2 episodes of season 3. I love the show but I have one complaint and that's it. Hulu has allowed viewers to watch seasons 1,2,and 2 episodes of season 3 for free. After that one viewer must have a subscription of $7.99 per month to watch the rest of the season. That is bull crap because I have gotten really into the show and now I can no longer watch it for free. And if they were going to require a subscription for the rest of the season they shouldn't have even et viewers watch the first 2 episodes of season3. That is my one complaint and I hope that they are going to allow the rest of the season and show to be free once again.
Parent Written byJen L. August 6, 2016

East los high

I absolutely love East Los High. I can't wait for next season. So many life lessons. I really wish our schools would also teach life skills so we don't land up in these situations
What other families should know
Too much sex


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?