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 Light as a Feather is a teen soap about unexpected deaths that happen after teen girls play a creepy party game. Despite the show's focus on death, the violence is somewhat downplayed: Though deaths do take place onscreen, and viewers sometimes see bodies or disembodied parts, there's no blood, gore, or emotional grieving. Characters are in danger, but the tone is lighter than a horror movie or series intended for older viewers. Sexual content is also mild: same- and opposite-sex dating, kissing, and romantic complications. Language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "hell," "dammit," "d--k," "sucks," and "holy crap." Teens drink liquor and beer, with consequences -- at least one character is killed after drinking and driving. A character passes another a baggie full of unnamed pills.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on a YA novel, LIGHT AS A FEATHER picks up on Halloween, when a group of five bored teen girls wants to do something spooky in a cemetery. The answer turns out to be a variation of the old slumber party game "Light as a feather, stiff as a board," in which each girl is lifted up in turn after Violet (Haley Ramm) describes how they will die. Surprise! The game turns out to be more than a game, and as the girls start dying just as Violet predicted, it's up to McKenna (Liana Liberato) to figure out how to stop it.
Is it any good?
It's going for a Pretty Little Liars or Riverdale vibe, but its silly Final Destination, Jr. setup and featherweight writing keep it from reaching the seamy heights of those teen faves. Building a spooky teen thriller around a slumber party game isn't a totally off the wall idea -- Truth or Dare did big box office in 2018 -- but it's goofy enough that it either needs to be treated ironically or grounded in enough realistic, relatable detail to make it land. Light as a Feather doesn't do either, with characters who come off as stereotypes -- the rich mean girl, the disturbed outsider, the brainless party girl -- and deaths that don't really seem to have an impact besides functioning as a plot device.
It's also immediately obvious that something's off with a main character, and it's clear that she's the one causing the deaths (though it's less immediately obvious how). With no mystery to wonder over, the series takes on a rather rote slasher tone, with the audience waiting for each successive death to enliven the goings-on. The villain herself is an interesting character, though, and her creepily obsessive interest in another one of the onscreen teens is the best part of the show. What teenager hasn't been on the outside looking in, or the object of affection that's flattering, but also somehow disconcerting? When the show goes there, it comes alive; the rest of the time, the spark sputters out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Light as a Feather paints an accurate portrait of teen life. Are the characters’ troubles relatable to you? Why or why not? What kinds of stereotypes does this show reinforce or challenge? How does what you see of teen life on TV or in movies influence your own life? Parents: Talk to teens about the role models and messages in shows like this.
Teens: How do your relationships with your friends compare to that of the main characters? Are there things you'll discuss with your friends but not your parents? To whom would you turn if you were in a dangerous situation? How could the teens have handled their situation differently? Have you ever been betrayed by a friend?
For kids who love teen drama
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