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Make It or Break It
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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?