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 Grojband is an animated series intended for tweens that centers on a group of teens who spend their days playing music, promoting their band, and getting themselves into absurd predicaments. Needless to say, it's hardly realistic, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun, especially because of its musical component. There is some potential worry to the fact that the main female character is prone to wild emotional outbursts and a fiery temper, especially when it comes to her unsuccessful attempts to win the affections of the boy she likes, and that other girls are written as fawning band groupies at the beck and call of their crushes. What's more, the main character violates his sister's trust when he repeatedly uses her diary entries as song lyrics, which raises the issue of privacy.
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What's the story?
GROJBAND follows the antics of an amateur garage band looking to score its big break. The band is comprised of lead singer and manager Corey (voiced by Lyon Smith), twins Kin (Sergio DiZio) and Kon (Tim Beresford), and Laney (Bryn McAuley). Despite Corey's best-laid plans, Grojband isn't quite ready to hit the big time yet, especially given that there's not a talented lyricist in the bunch. But when Corey takes a peek inside his sister Trina's (Alyson Court) diary and finds it fairly oozing with teen angst, he taps it for lyrical inspiration, giving Grojband a much-needed boost. The trouble is, it takes a hefty dose of emotion from Trina to generate song-worthy diary entries.
Is it any good?
From the team behind Total Drama Island comes another gag-filled comedy cartoon that will appeal to a tween crowd because of its slightly edgy content. Grojband follows Corey and the band's hard knocks on the way to stardom (though it's yet to be seen whether they actually succeed), but it's the way that it gets there that will give some parents pause. Not only does Corey invite himself to the contents of his sister's private thoughts for songs, he also sparks many of the volatile outbursts that generate her writings.
Perhaps the most bothersome aspect of the show is how it portrays teen relationships. One almost needs a Venn diagram to keep straight the swirling teen affections, but suffice it to say that viewers get the sense that lustful infatuation is a reasonable expression of romantic interest, despite what's commonly total disinterest on the part of the receiving party. Given that most of the obsessing is done by girls -- and there's one in particular who routinely ditches her self-respect to catch the eye of her crush -- this may not be the type of show you'll want imparting lessons on your kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this show's stance on teen relationships. Are there any healthy romantic relationships at play in this story? Why is it important to be true to yourself even when you're in a partnership? What level of respect should you expect from your partner?
Why is it fun to escape reality in shows like this one? Does it appeal to your sense of adventure? What would you do if you had no rules or demands on your time?
Are stereotypes always harmful to viewers? Does our sensitivity to this type of content change as we get older and more mature? When, if at all, are stereotypes acceptable in entertainment?
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