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Guidance

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Guidance TV Poster Image
Guidance counselor takes on bullying in teen web drama.

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

Positive Messages

Bullying comes in many forms, and it is never okay. Coping with death, peer pressure, and relationships are also key themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The guidance counselors are compassionate, each in her own way. Some teens are nice, and some aren’t. 

Violence

Bullying is a central theme. Shootings, hit and runs, and assaults aren’t shown on camera, but result in visible blood and fatal wounds. A gun is shown. 

Sex

Some strong innuendo, including teens making out in partial stages of undress and references to having sex. 

Language

Words like "slut," "hell," "damn."

Consumerism

Brief references to social media platforms like Instagram. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Underage drinking and drunken behavior is sometimes visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Guidance is a teen series about a school guidance counselor and her students. It features stories centering around bullying and other conflicts high school kids face every day. It contains some rough language ("slut," "hell," "damn"), there’s some strong innuendo, and underage drinking is sometimes visible. School shootings, beatings, and hit and runs are alluded to, and sometimes bloody wounds are visible. It also offers important messages about negative behaviors, and has some teachable moments that teens may respond to. 

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What's the story?

GUIDANCE is a dramatic teen-oriented web series about high school bullying, and how people cope with it, through the eyes of the school’s guidance counselor. When risqué photographs of Miriam (Amanda Steele) circulate among the student body thanks to an innovative app, school guidance counselor Anna (Michelle Trachtenberg), tries to help Miriam cope with the bullying. She also spends time talking to various members of the student body, ranging from academic overachievers, popular guys, and social outlets in an attempt to figure out who is responsible. Throughout it all, she tries to come to terms with her own personal issues. 

Is it any good?

The compelling drama, which is produced by Michelle Trachtenberg, features original stories that involve bullying behavior of some kind. Each of its three seasons generates a different storyline, and stars a completely different cast, including folks like Erica Dasher and Monique Coleman. But they all pointedly highlight how damaging bullying is, and the far-reaching consequences it has on others. 

The content gets a little edgier with each season. However, it is the timeliness of the narratives, which involve cyberbullying, school shootings, and peer shaming (among other things), that makes Guidance interesting and relevant. If you’re looking for a smart series that entertains and addresses important topics, this one is worth checking out.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. What is the difference between just bothering someone and bullying? Is cyberbullying really a crime? If you or someone you know is being bullied, what should you do?

  • What kinds of life lessons does Guidance offer viewers? Does everyone pay a price for their negative actions? Why?

TV details

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