Life of Ryan TV Poster Image

Life of Ryan

Teen skateboarding star balances fame and family.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite his fame, Ryan's very grounded and hardworking. He's very close to his family and friends and is a mentor to his younger brothers. The Sheckler parents are very hands-on, and both are seen talking with their kids and setting boundaries. Mom Gretchen sometimes turns to Ryan for post-divorce emotional support. As Ryan's manager, she tries to keep her son focused on his career. The people on the show are primarily Caucasian and upper class.


Some minor pushing and shoving between the Sheckler brothers (in the context of normal sibling rivalry).


Some boy/girl flirting and kissing. A lot of Ryan's focus is on finding a girlfriend.


Lots of surfing and skateboarding lingo, plus occasional mild words like "hell."


Skateboarding labels, including Sheckler's own, are prominently featured, as are products like iPod, Range Rover, and Red Bull. The show introduces popular music from bands like Angels and Airwaves and Switchfoot.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series about teen celebrity skateboarder Ryan Sheckler is among the tamer of MTV's offerings. The show does highlight the teen relationships and upper-class materialism typical of MTV, but it also features positive parent-child relationships and a strong work ethic. Skateboarding, family, friendship, and dating are central themes of the show, and divorce is also prominently discussed (Ryan's parents have split).

What's the story?

MTV's coming-of-age reality show LIFE OF RYAN follows skateboarding phenom Ryan Sheckler as he tries to balance his successful skateboarding career with a normal teenage life. At 13, Ryan became the youngest person in the skateboarding world to go pro. Now 17, he continues to successfully promote his athletic skills, as well as the many products that bear his name. But while he enjoys his successful and lucrative career, Ryan also wants to enjoy the life of a normal teenager. Ryan also has to cope with his parents' recent divorce and their subsequent ability (or inability) to move on with their lives. It doesn't help when his mom, Gretchen, sometimes blends motherhood with managing Ryan's career.

Is it any good?


As far as role modeling goes, Ryan is a hardworking, grounded guy whose family plays a visible and positive role in his life. But while Life of Ryan features some of the typical teen drama and upper-class materialism that other MTV teen reality shows revolve around, the show actually features some positive messages as well. In the end, it's really about a talented, sensitive celebrity teen who works for the luxuries he enjoys and who finds his strength in the people -- not the things -- that surround him.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to be a child or teen celebrity. What kinds of things make it difficult for young celebs to live a "normal" life? Is it realistic to think that they can? Do some young stars seem more approachable or relatable than others? Why? Families can also talk about divorce's impact on a family. How can kids cope with changing family dynamics when their parents begin to live separate lives? How can things like holidays and special events be dealt with positively? How does the media generally portray divorce? Is it accurate?

TV details

Premiere date:August 27, 2007
Cast:Gretchen Sheckler, Randy Sheckler, Ryan Sheckler
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bylindsey122 April 9, 2008
Parent of a 11 year old Written byET phone home January 27, 2010
Ryan Sheckler is a closet homosexual. I would not be. suprised if he came out of the closet. THis show is scripted and overly dramitic. And to all teh stupid 15 year old girls on here, gay guys have lots of girlfriends before they come out of the closet.
Teen, 15 years old Written bycopperboom August 22, 2009

Good for more mature tweens

Love it. Ryan Sheckler is very grounded, although sometimes he gets overwhelmed with his work, he still makes time to be a normal teenager. This show shows how great a role model he really is.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models