Hollywood Heights

Common Sense Media says

Soapy drama has mixed bag of role models for teens.

Age(i)

2
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8
9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A mixed bag. Some characters have admirable motivations and strong work ethics, but their amiability often makes them easy targets for manipulation by less upstanding peers. The show explores the intricacies of relationships, love, and the pursuit of dreams, as well as the concept of stardom and how the public perception of celebrities compares to their true selves. Loren is obsessed with Eddie's image, but she does get the chance to get to know (and form an opinion about) the "real" him.

Positive role models

Loren, Eddie, and their respective mom and dad have strong, affectionate relationships that are the foundation for the teens' success and ability to ride out the tough times. Other characters aren't so impressive, though, including a law-breaking teen rebel, a girl who mixes with the wrong crowd to anger her father, a guy who's determined to break up his ex-girlfriend's new relationship, and an overprotective mother who snoops around in her daughter's belongings to catch her in a lie.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Couples kiss and fondle each other, and it's implied that sex will follow. There's a lot of flirting, and some characters (mostly girls) use their sex appeal to get what they want from guys, whether it's time in the spotlight or a sense of adventure. References to guys and girls being "hot."

Language

"Hell," "sucks," and put-downs like "d-bag."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There's some drinking onscreen, but it's limited to adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hollywood Heights is a drama series with a range of characters, each marked by a "typical" soap opera-style personality trait -- the naïve nice guy, the industrious teen with big dreams, the scheming beauty, the teen rebel, and so on. It's not always easy to decipher the characters' true intentions and thus identify a villain. On the upside, the main characters adhere to their high moral standards and enjoy supportive relationships with their parents, which is a big part of their success. Expect some physical closeness, implied sex, and mild language, as well as a thoughtful commentary on the celebrity lifestyle and its effect on friendships, love, and family relationships.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS, shy teen Loren Tate (Brittany Underwood) gets a taste of fame when she wins a songwriting contest and simultaneously the affection of her longtime rock star crush, heartthrob Eddie Duran (Cody Longo), with whom her newfound stardom brings her close. Easygoing Eddie finds Loren to be a refreshing change from the cutthroat, manipulative culture he's used to, and their relationship is a constant force as each of their fortunes begins to change in surprising ways.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Adapted from a popular Mexican telenovela, Hollywood Heights has all the markings of a primetime soap opera: tense relationships, youthful rebellion, romance, questionable motivations, conniving behavior, and a villain or two. What this show does have going for it is that the main core of characters -- including Loren, Eddie, and their respective single, devoted parents -- are a likable bunch, reflecting strong family values and bonds that transcend all the other changes in their lives. But among the supporting cast you'll find more questionable values and uncertain role models, including a teen who runs with a dangerous crowd, a woman who fabricates a relationship with a celeb just for the notoriety, and parents who are either overly protective or enabling their teens' bad behavior.

With such a range of characters and motivations, it's hard to predict where the content will go next, so consider checking in on the basic plot before you give your teens the go-ahead. If they do tune in, the show raises some intriguing issues that relate to our star-crazed society, so be sure to start a dialogue with your teen about how we perceive celebrities and are influenced by their work and the messages they send through their actions and words.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about celebrities. How much of what we see and hear from stars do you think reflects their true personalities? Does their negative behavior ever have a positive effect on their popularity? Why do you think this happens?

  • Teens: What does this series aim to say about relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners? How does a person's life situation influence the relationships they seek and those they keep?

  • This series is a good stepping stone to discussions about family rules for media consumption, internet use, curfew, and dating. How do these rules reflect your family values? What role do they play in keeping you safe?

This review of Hollywood Heights was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old August 5, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

BEST SHOW EVER

Hollywood Heights is a show I can't get enough of.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old June 26, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Okay show with some suggestiveness

I watched this show with family and It is ok and not that inappropriate.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byMissHope53 June 14, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Nothing They Don't Already Know

I watched the first episode yesterday. I think it was quite reasonable, but had slight sexual themes. Nothing your 12 or even 11 year old doesn't know about yet. It's completely fine for kids 12 and up and can be acceptable for 11 or 10 year olds. Parents- don't under estimate what your kids already know. It's better to learn it now before high school, where it becomes the real isssue.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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