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Free Rein: Valentine's Day

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Free Rein: Valentine's Day TV Poster Image
Sweet holiday special emphasizes friendship over romance.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

 

Positive Messages

Strong friendships are a source of strength and comfort for Zoe and her peers, but some of the teens have selfish motivations at heart and suffer consequences as a result. A new friendship evolves, and Zoe and her new boyfriend learn the value honest communication. When faced with a difficult choice, the teens opt to safeguard a secret to protect the integrity of their island home.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zoe is loyal, kind, and open to new relationships. She values honesty and holds herself to a high standard, which is reflected in the company she keeps. Some characters, including Mia and Callum, act on their own selfishness.

 

Violence & Scariness

In one scene, a landmine explodes after teens narrowly escape the area.

 

Sexy Stuff

This Valentine's Day special involves several teen couples in the early stages of their relationships. There's a lot of talk about crushes and dating, but just one instance of kissing.

Language
Consumerism

This holiday special is part of the Free Rein series.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Free Rein: Valentine's Day is a holiday special from the family-friendly British drama series Free Rein. The story involves multiple romantic relationships between teens, but there's more focus on sweet expressions of affection than on physical contact. Zoe and her friends are excellent examples of kindness and loyalty, but other characters act on selfishness and egotism, which gets them into trouble. There are some tense moments when teens discover an active landmine and have to craft a plan to escape unharmed, but on the whole, this is a worry-free story that will delight Free Rein fans.

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What's the story?

In FREE REIN: VALENTINE'S DAY, Zoe (Jaylen Barron) and her friends make plans for an exciting "Galentine's Day" (just for the gals) before the holiday itself. To celebrate, they embark on a quest -- on horseback, of course! -- to find the island's legendary Maid's Stone, guided by a map Zoe finds among her grandmother's things. But soon after they set out, they discover others are looking for the stone as well, including her new boyfriend, Pin (Freddy Carter), and her social nemesis, Mia (Celine Buckens). As the various teams race to be the first ones to find it, Zoe and Pin share some meaningful moments and find a deeper connection with each other just in time for Valentine's Day.

Is it any good?

This sweet holiday special is all about love, but not entirely in the traditional sense. Zoe's new relationship with Pin helps set up and close out the story, and other teens pair off in couples as well, but most of the focus is on the love that's shared among friends. Zoe, Becky (Kerry Ingram), and Jade (Manpreet Bambra) are the best of friends, and newcomer Gaby (Charlotte Jordan) is slowly finding her niche in the group. These are the relationships that prove most integral to the story and its eventual happy ending.

As for Zoe and her actual Valentine, there are some heartwarming developments as Pin opens up about himself and she starts to understand him better as a result. As teen romance onscreen goes, Free Rein: Valentine's Day's innocuous presentation paints a pretty mild picture of the construct, which is great news for the show's younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Zoe and her friends model positive character traits like compassion. Are these believable characters in general? Does the nature of their relationships seem realistic? In what ways can TV shows like this one set impossible standards for viewers' own lives?

  • How do Zoe and Pin improve their relationship over the course of this story? Why is open communication important among friends and family? How does your family keep the lines of communication open?

  • What, if anything, do the horses add to Free Rein: Valentine's Day? How are the special bonds between people and animals explored?

TV details

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