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 Eye Candy is a tense, gruesome, and disturbing drama based on R.L. Stine's book of the same name. There are numerous scenes of graphic murders and photos of mutilated bodies, and a creepy voice-over suggests that main character Lindy is always being stalked and toyed with by a killer. She sidesteps authorities to run her own investigation of a murderer, even when she's meant to be working alongside the police, and her life is constantly in danger because of it. It's posited that the killer scouts victims from an online dating site, and Lindy also uses technology to stalk suspects, so there are many openings to discuss online safety with your teens.
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What's the story?
EYE CANDY follows Lindy Sampson (Victoria Justice), a 21-year-old tech whiz who reluctantly agrees to try online dating after her boyfriend's death only to suspect that one of her suitors could be a serial killer. As victims start piling up around her, Lindy puts her cyber-hacking skills to work piecing together clues that might lead her to the murderer. Eventually she teams up with the city's cyber crimes unit, partnering with Tommy (Casey Jon Deidrick) to track down the killer and save the people she cares about -- among them her younger sister, Sara, who was kidnapped three years ago.
Is it any good?
Eye Candy is based on R.L. Stine's book of the same name. As crime dramas go, it's fairly juvenile content-wise, which makes sense given that its target audience is MTV-watching teens. It also tends to gloss over the potential pitfalls of a 21-year-old woman exacting justice for an accomplished serial killer on her own terms and without any regard for her own safety. Granted, the cops' eventual involvement offers a secondary level of security, but, even in that case, Lindy often calls the shots.
Contrived though it is, Justice plays her part well, and there are endless plot twists that will appeal to teens. There's also the requisite budding heroine love story to keep them coming back even if the murder-mystery story line doesn't hook them right away. If your teens watch, be sure to use the opportunity to talk about online safety (or the lack thereof), since that's an overarching theme throughout the show. In a world where our lives are virtual open books, Eye Candy touches on some of the ways sharing information can pose dangers, a message that can't be illustrated too often to today's tech-savvy teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their rules regarding the internet. Teens: What social sites and apps do you use most often? What are the advantages to being on them? What kinds of information isn't appropriate for online sharing?
Does Lindy's behavior make her a good role model? Does her courage ever inspire her to do things that are reckless? How do the authorities factor in? Is there ever a good reason to defy the law?
Teens: Do you like scary movies or horror stories? Have you read the book version of this story? If so, which did you like better?
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