What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Filthy Sexy Teen$ is a parody of "serious" teen soaps like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, so it isn't meant to be taken seriously. Still, if kids watch, they'll see a group of superficial teens scheming, sleeping, and killing their way to the top of their prestigious high school's social hierarchy. Students are shown drinking underage at parties and engaging in some violent subplots (including one girl's quest to have her parents murdered), and sexually charged scenes include some kissing and heavy flirtation but no nudity. Characters also use gateway terms like "hell," "balls," and "son of a bitch."
What's the story?
Set in and around the halls of the Hathaway School for the Wealthy (one of the top college prep and snowboarding schools in the country!), FILTHY SEXY TEEN$ centers on a group of privileged high schoolers with plenty to hide -- and the mysterious vlogger who's bent on outing their secrets. Characters include a homeless "street teen" (Marshall Allman) who's adopted by the family of one of Hathaway's hottest girls (Hannah Kasulka) and an aspiring sock designer (Steven Yeun) who's hiding the fact that he's straight.
Is it any good?
Co-created by actor-comedian Paul Scheer (The League, NTSF:SD:SUV::), Filthy Sexy Teen$ is an intentionally cheeky send-up of popular teen soaps that nails its target to the wall in the same way that Childrens Hospital lampoons medical dramas like ER and Grey's Anatomy. Instead of bed-hopping doctors, you get brooding teenagers so wrapped up in their own privilege that they trip on it.
The risk of a show like this, of course, is that younger viewers might not get the joke. Older teens, especially those who've seen Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, will better appreciate the parody, particularly if their parents take the time to point it out. That doesn't mean Teen$ is completely appropriate for high schoolers, but since it's a short-format series (unlike the hour-long dramas it disses), the damage per view is comparatively minimal.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about satire and how it can be used to make a point while making people laugh. Does Filthy Sexy Teen$ celebrate or skewer the shows it parodies? How can you tell? Could some viewers take the spoof the wrong way?
How closely does Filthy Sexy Teen$ reflect the lives of actual high-schoolers, particularly in terms of sex and underage drinking? Do shows like these send a message to teens that these characters are cool, or is this a cautionary tale?
How does social media, including vlogging, play into real-life high school politics? How is cyberbullying via Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms different from traditional bullying?