By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Edgy teen drama balances real issues with responsibility.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Over the long run, the series aims to show teens that every action has some sort of consequence, be it positive or negative, particularly when it comes to heavier topics like teen pregnancy.
Positive Role Models
It's a mixed bag; most of the main characters make good decisions most of the time, but there are also a few serial troublemakers.
Violence & Scariness
It's not a regular part of the action, but some episodes deal with bullying.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several teen couples talk about having sex; later in the series, one of them becomes pregnant and considers having an abortion.
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Rare use of words like "numb-nuts," "hell," "jerk," "butt," "slut," "hooker," "sex maniac," "pervert," "sexy," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some teen characters drink, occasionally to excess, but it's not a regular occurrence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this topic-heavy teen drama takes a realistic approach to tough issues like teen pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, underage drinking, and bullying. As a result, you won't always see teens making good choices -- and, sometimes, there aren't obvious immediate negative consequences for their actions (or adults around to weigh in on the issues). Though it tackles topics that might make parents uncomfortable, this series has a moral -- though not preachy -- heart and can ultimately be used as a teaching tool. The content is edgy, but both relevant and appropriate for the target audience, which is why we're giving it an "on" rating. Characters also use words like "numb-nuts," "slut," "hooker," "pervert," and "bitch," although most of these terms are rare. In additon, it's important to note that the show is set in western Canada, where the legal drinking age is 19. So when Edgemont characters drink alcohol, they're still breaking the law, but it's in a slightly different social context.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
EDGEMONT chronicles the lives of a group of high school students living in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. In the beginning, the series focuses on a budding love triangle between easygoing Mark (Dominic Zamprogna), his loyal girlfriend Jennifer (Sarah Lind), and new arrival Laurel (Kristin Kreuk). But as the seasons go on, other characters take center stage with their own trials and tribulations.
Is It Any Good?
Much like the similarly themed Degrassi High series (both the Old School and Next Generation editions), Edgemont tackles tough issues that real teens face every day, including premarital sex, abortion, underage drinking, sexual identity, bullying, and homophobia. But Edgemont keeps things focused on a much smaller group of characters, which also narrows the pool of teen perspectives. That means that if you're not particularly interested in the characters at hand, there's not a whole lot going on elsewhere to attract your attention.
Another curious difference is Edgemont's seemingly deliberate deletion of any adult characters. In the halls of McKinley High School, we only see and hear from students; there are no teachers, principals or even parents to be found who can serve as positive adult role models. But since the show deals with heavy topics in a frank and realistic way -- and negative actions usually, but not always, bring negative consequences -- it's a good idea for viewers' parents to be available for a reality check.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether there's a difference between a teen show set in Canada and shows set in the United States. Do you relate to the things these characters are going through? Is the casting more or less realistic than other popular shows about teens -- for example, Gossip Girl?
How does the show tackle the topic of teen sex? Is it "normal" for teens to want to have sex? What are some of the consequences of teens having sex before they're ready?
What's your take on the show's spectrum of characters? Do you think there's enough diversity? Do you see any stereotypes that bother you?
- Premiere date: September 16, 2000
- Cast: Dominic Zamprogna, Grace Park, Kristin Kreuk
- Network: CW
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: December 7, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Watch
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