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 Hyperlinked is a live-action series about a website called Miss O and Friends that's created by teen girls to help their peers with issues relevant to them. The story is based on the actual evolution of the actual website, but the characters are fictionalized and played by the members of vocal group L2M, so there's some marketing crossover there. Even so, the show is fun to watch, thanks in a big part to its gregarious cast of teens who are excellent role models and aim to inspire viewers' self-confidence, creativity, and interest in STEM concepts like coding. Expect a lot of "girl power" themes, affirming messages about friendship and self-esteem, and a generally positive impression of how collaboration can help each individual succeed.
What's the story?
HYPERLINKED is the story of five teens and tweens who create a lifestyle website called Miss O and Friends to help other girls with the issues in their lives, from school woes to managing friendships. Known to her fans as "Answer Girl," Juliette (Mariangeli Collado) is the group's go-to gal for advice on just about every subject, a talent she discovered after offering insight to her younger sister, Olivia (Jenna Simmons). Now she helps out her audience by replying to their questions about boys, homework, and friends. Her best friend, Justine (McKenzie Mack), is the resident coder who makes the site's content look great and work well for viewers. Their pals Ella (Lexi Drew) and Izzy (Tati McQuay) lend their own special touches to the website and to their friendship.
Is it any good?
Inspired by the true story behind the teen-created startup Miss O and Friends, this kid-friendly series is all about girl power. In it the website is run entirely by young teen and tween girls who are self-starters, devoted friends, and willing role models for their online fans. Beyond that, no two are alike, with interests ranging from karate to cooking, and their personalities similarly far-flung. What unites them is their friendship and their shared passion for collaborating on a website that helps them reach out to and inspire other girls with advice, creativity, and messages of confidence.
Kids (and girls especially) can't go wrong with this show's positive themes, and while STEM concepts are fairly subtle, there is much to like about a story centered on girls in the technology field. There's a natural progression from the Hyperlinked series to the Miss O and Friends website, and viewers will want to visit it after seeing it hyped in the show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork in Hyperlinked. Why is it important to keep a team goal in mind when working together? How does it interfere with progress when one member isn't on board with the group's plans? Why is it an important character strength?
How are teen girls portrayed in the media? Do these characters challenge that picture or support it? In what ways have we achieved gender equality in our society? Are there areas where it still needs improvement? How would you define full gender equality? Find more Hyperlinked discussion ideas here.
Kids: Does coding interest you? If you could build a website, what would be its focus? What kind of content would you include?
- Premiere date: May 31, 2017
- Cast: McKenzie Mack, Mariangeli Collado, Jenna Simmons, Tati McQuay, Lexi Drew
- Network: YouTube Red
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Great girl role models, Middle school
- Character strengths: Communication, Perseverance, Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
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