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 Game Shakers is a sitcom about two middle schoolers who design an app and create a successful business. On the upside, the protagonists are girls who show real moxie in chasing their dream, but that's offset by the fact that they break the law in using a rapper's song in their game, which forces them to partner with the juvenile, self-centered star. The girls' success, while potentially inspiring to kids in the audience, isn't realistic, especially when you consider that aside from their new business ally, adults (and therefore a mature influence) are mostly absent from the story. It's also worth noting that the games "invented" on the show are available on Nickelodeon's website, so your kids' tendencies toward wanting what they see on TV is a factor to consider.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In GAME SHAKERS, classmates Kenzie (Madisyn Shipman) and Babe (Cree Cicchino) create a video game app called Sky Whale for their science project, and it makes them overnight millionaires. But when rap star Double G (Kel Mitchell) learns the girls used his music in the process, he threatens to sue, so they make him a partner -- as they do his son, Triple G (Benjamin Flores, Jr.) -- and employee in their new gaming company. They're joined by the girls' friend Hudson (Thomas Kuc), who pitches in as a quality tester for the new apps.
Is it any good?
This tween-geared show peddles utter nonsense and obnoxious characters but also a pie-in-the-sky slant on the concept of turning your passions into success that will appeal to kids. There's a severe generational divide to how the story is received; where grown-ups will see tweens running amok and escaping any possible realistic consequences of their actions, kids will notice only the fun and hilarity of it all. Theirs is not a place to question the legal ramifications of using someone else's property to promote your own product, after all. This is a world where you can be an average middle schooler one day and the proprietor of your own multimillion-dollar business venture the next, all without outside help.
Game Shakers is bolstered by Mitchell's over-the-top comedy, a high point in this otherwise mundane production that attempts to overcompensate for lackluster content with volume (there's a lot of yelling) and general absurdity. The bottom line? This loud series is more fantasy than it is real life, so point out the differences to your kids if they tune in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of starting a business compared to what this series shows them to be. Is overnight success something that really could happen? After that, though, what's involved in making a business work? Is it OK for shows to exaggerate points like this one for effect?
With all their differences, what accounts for Kenzie and Babe's friendship? When it comes to your friends, is variety the spice of life, or do you tend toward people who are very similar to you?
Kids: When have you encountered kids doing remarkable things? Do you know any whom you would consider to be role models for their peers? In what areas do you excel?
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