What parents need to know
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.
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?
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?