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 Greenhouse Academy is a tween melodrama about high school students at a swanky boarding school. The story goes like this: Siblings Alex and Hayley enroll at Greenhouse shortly after their mother's death, finding themselves on opposite sides of a traditional school rivalry that fades away when a nefarious mystery takes shape and draws both sides into solving it. Expect moments of romance, some social bullying that mostly goes unchecked, and duplicitous adults involved in the mysterious plot. Tweens who watch will find many scenarios that invite conversations about their own values and how they would handle negative peer pressure themselves.
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What's the story?
Following the untimely death of their mom, siblings Hayley (Ariel Mortman) and Alex (Finn Roberts) enroll in GREENHOUSE ACADEMY, an elite boarding school for forward thinkers in Southern California. But things get complicated when they're separated by resident houses -- Hayley among the Ravens and Alex in with the rival Eagles -- and encouraged by both sides to put their loyalties there. As both struggle to belong, a mystery that's somehow connected to their mom unfolds, bringing both sides together.
Is it any good?
With suspense, romance, and lots and lots of melodrama, this series has all the makings of a tween hit. The contentious rivalry between the Ravens and the Eagles sets the scene for inevitable character reformations later on, which promises to chip away at the frigidness between the two sets of teens, presumably inspired by Hayley and Alex's example. In the meantime, there are many opportunities for viewers to consider how they would handle a situation that forced them to choose between their values (and family loyalty) and what their peers suggested was cool.
Greenhouse Academy's story sets up numerous opportunities for characters to evaluate their actions in relation to their peers', and whether they choose wisely or not, the scenarios create talking points for parents and tweens. There are moments of levity, but overall the show's mood is darker than most offerings for this age group, especially given plots that target a family still mourning a recent loss. This isn't gripping drama, and the telling is a bit uneven at times, but it's a decent option for tweens looking for something different.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which characters stand out as role models in this show. How do they demonstrate admirable qualities like compassion and creative problem-solving? How do they and other characters evolve over the course of the series? Is it always for the better?
If your tweens have siblings, talk about the picture this show paints of that relationship. Hayley prioritizes her devotion to Alex before anything else, but he doesn't easily do the same. How would you handle a situation that asked you to choose between a family member and a friend?
When is it appropriate to keep a secret and when is it not? Is being duplicitous always a bad thing? What motivates the characters in this story to keep secrets?
Themes & Topics
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