Make It or Break It TV Poster Image

Make It or Break It

(i)

 

Gymnastics series mixes competition and teen drama.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The positive aspects of sports and competition are addressed, but they're frequently overshadowed by the soap opera-like goings on. Characters manipulate each other frequently, and there's lots of melodrama.

Positive role models

Characters sometimes behave in selfish ways to get ahead. A teen girl attempts to sabotage a competitor's chance at beating her in a gymnastics meet; when she fails, her wealthy father buys and blackmails her way onto another team. She's also rude to her peers, mocking them for things like worn clothing and her family's low socioeconomic status. On the flipside, an unlikely trio of teammates must draw on their inner strength -- and one another -- to overcome new challenges.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Teens sleep together (no sex shown). Some kissing between teens. Teen boys comment on girls' appearances ("she's hot," for instance), and terms like "booty call" pop into casual conversation.

Language

A few instances each of words like "hell," "damn," and "bitch."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one of the main characters in this tween/teen-targeted sports drama is a snobby, spoiled girl whose father condones her unsportsmanlike behavior by buying her way onto another team when she loses an important competition. She's rude to rivals and "friends" alike and is quick to pass judgment on people based on things like appearance. Also expect some intermittent strong language and sexual content (teens kiss and sleep together, though no sex is shown). That said, the series does explore the positive aspects of athletic competition and the traits that make for a successful athlete and a unified team.

What's the story?

When gymnastics newcomer Emily (Chelsea Hobbs) is invited to train alongside some of the country's most promising athletes, she's greeted with a cold shoulder from her new team's three stars -- Payson (Ayla Kell), Kaylie (Josie Loren), and Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) -- who view her arrival as a threat to their club dominance. With a shot at the Olympics on the line, ultra-competitive Lauren will stop at nothing to end Emily's hopes. But when the underdog pulls through to claim Lauren's spot on the team, Lauren's wealthy father bribes and blackmails his daughter's way onto a rival squad, setting the stage for plenty of drama -- both in the gym and out of it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

MAKE IT OR BREAK IT is a true underdog tale with an appealing heroine in Emily, who struggles to fulfill her dream in the competitive -- and often elitist -- world of gymnastics while she balances her family's financial struggles. It's easy to cheer for her in her rivalry with snooty Lauren, and there are some positive messages about acceptance and respect to be found in her evolving relationship with less-judgmental teammates Kaylie and Payson.

Since there's some salty language (multiple uses of "hell," "damn," and "bitch") and mild sexual content (though physical exchanges are limited to kissing) -- including a forbidden romance between teens -- the show is best suited for older tweens and teens. Though most of the content is fairly mild, the teens' behavior (particularly Lauren's) could send negative messages to young tweens about competition, sportsmanship, and relating to peers. And even if your kids are older, it's a good idea to follow up with them about any similar behavior they encounter among their own friends and acquaintances.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about competition. What are the benefits of taking part in a contest? What types of contests have you participated in? How did you prepare for them? How did your skills improve as you trained?

  • Parents can also use the characters’ behavior to learn about their kids’ own peer relationships. Have you ever felt like an outsider among your peers? How did you overcome the situation? How might you help someone else who’s feeling that way?

TV details

Cast:Ayla Kell, Cassie Scerbo, Chelsea Hobbs
Network:Freeform
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Make It or Break It was written by

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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; OK 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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Parent of a 9 year old Written bymychildrensadvocate April 29, 2011

Very questionable- even for teens.

We used to watch the show with our daughters, who are gymnasts. However, we have recently had to delete recorded episodes before they have a chance to see it. The teenage girls on the show are stealing, having sex, starving themselves, lying, and now one is pregnant! They have completely crossed the border with this show, it's become nothing more than a trashy teenage soap opera.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byasmit4 July 22, 2009

Great for teens..enough gritt, but with morals...

All teen dramas these days seem to have more sex, drinking, drugs etc. than in the 80s and 90s. Yes, this show carries those same themes but I wouldn't place it in the category of Gossip Girl or 90210. Yes, teens have sex, but they seriously regret it, and a pseudo mom steps in to discuss her sexual indiscretions at a young age with the young girl- Candace Cameron. Her description brought me to tears and I can't imagine a teenage girl not getting the message. Yes, teens drink. But one has a serious hangover, and they ALL get in serious trouble the next day by there coach. I think one great thing about this show is that it shows teen girls 'into' something other than boys and parties. It shows them as strong young women who make mistakes, have flaws, and have low self esteem sometimes. Yet they all have drive to make something of themselves- something other than being prom queen. I give this teen show high marks because it has enough gritt to make it believable and create drama for teens but it also throws in good values. I'm not sure if many of you know much about Candace Cameron these days but she takes her Christian faith seriously and wouldn't take part in a show that didn't ultimately teach good family values. It takes kids making mistakes to teach valuable life lessons and I think this makes the show great.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 7, 9, 11, and 13 year old Written byWordypen July 21, 2009

Older teens, strong sexual content

The show has continued to spiral downward as one competitor sleeps with another girl's boyfriend. The talk of sex is shallow and does not take into account all that the competitors give up with such casual sexual behavior. It is a shame, the show has such potential to be a winner.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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