Filthy Sexy Teen$

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Filthy Sexy Teen$ TV Poster Image
High school spoof's edgy humor is filthy, sexy -- and silly.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Being popular is the most important goal of high school, and students go to any length to attain (or maintain) popularity. The series also promotes superficiality and materialism, albeit in a satirical way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Every teen character has major -- and obvious -- flaws, from promiscuity and dishonesty to greed and murderous desire. Adult characters are no better and tend toward the ridiculous when it comes to role modeling, including a teacher who tries to party with his students.

Violence

A girl tries to have her parents murdered; a student is revealed to be a zombie...while she's actually eating another person at a party. Some blood.

Sex

Teen characters talk about having sex and trade steamy kisses, and one student is pretending to be gay. Kids throw a "Back to Sex School Party."

Language

Gateway terms include "hell," "balls," and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

High school students drink underage at parties with no consequences.

What 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."

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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.

Talk to your kids 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?

TV details

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