What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this TV special is in much the same vein as its parent series, Victorious, so tweens who are already familiar with the characters’ antics on that show will find the same sort of content here. The good news is that references to the show’s social media site are noticeably absent throughout this special, but it offsets that improvement by gearing the plot to feature (and thus heavily promote) two new original songs. Watch for some substitute slang terms like “gank” (a derogatory name) and “shucks to be you,” and be sure to do a quick reality check with your tweens to be sure they understand that the characters’ freedoms are exaggerated for effect. Other than that, this comedy special is a harmless choice for tweens.
What's the story?
In FREAK THE FREAK OUT, the Hollywood Arts students are jazzed to check out the new teen hangout called Karaoke Dokie, but Tori (Victoria Justice) has to bow out of the fun to play nurse to her sister, Trina (Daniella Monet), after she has oral surgery. Jade (Elizabeth Gillies) and Cat (Ariana Grande) wow the crowd with a harmonic duet, but they take second place to an inferior team and later discover that one of the rival singers is actually the daughter of the club’s owner. Crying foul, the girls challenge the owner’s decision and are banned from singing there again. Meanwhile, Tori’s barely grasping sanity with Trina’s incessant complaining, so she, Jade, and Cat hatch a plan to get revenge on their rivals and score some Trina-sitting while they’re at it.
Is it any good?
It’s fairly obvious (to parents, at least) that this hour-long special from the Victorious crew exists for two reasons: first, to entertain, and second, to unveil two new songs in the show’s repertoire. Not surprisingly, the talented cast manages to do both with ease, and even the fact that the special's plot is geared specifically toward these two new tracks is forgivable in light of its entertainment value.
As with the series itself, most of the content is benign for tweens, and they'll enjoy the characters’ wacky predicaments as much as the musical aspect of the show. There’s some sporadic use of slang throughout the episode (girls call each other “gank,” for instance) that you might want to call attention to and discuss with your kids, and there’s precious little content that even attempts to teach any lessons, but, that aside, it’s a worry-free source of fun tweens.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about friendship. Is it possible to be friends with someone who’s very different from you? What personality traits could you overlook in a friend? Which ones would be too much to see past?
Tweens: Have you ever been a victim of name calling? How is that a kind of bullying? How have technology and social networking changed how we feel about the power of words or name calling? What are the dangers of airing personal grievances on the Internet?
What are your dreams for the future? What special skills or talents will you need to fulfill these dreams? How will school help you get there? In what ways can you hone your crafts now?