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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kids see a lot of efforts to sabotage team members' efforts to excel, even from the adult leader of the rescue squad. They exchange verbal jabs that poke fun of and taunt each other, mostly because the Tower 2 team hails from the Valley and doesn't fit in among the wealthier, snobby Malibu kids. Contests among the squads and team members often bring out the worst rather than fostering constructive competition, and adults often partake in the snarkiness. On the upside, Dylan strives for excellence and wants to inspire greatness, even if she does get sucked into the bickering herself.
Positive Role Models
Dylan takes her role as leader seriously but often gets dragged into the incivility of her teammates and other team captains. Even the rescue squad leader gets snarky and vindictive with Dylan and her team, resorting to childish tactics to undermine their efforts.
Violence & Scariness
Some peril in rescue scenarios. In one case, a rescuer intentionally prolongs a dangerous mission by threatening to cut the victim's rope as he's hanging from a cliff unless he changes his behavior toward their team.
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No cursing, but some talk like "I hate that guy," "sucks," and "shut it."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Malibu Rescue: The Series is a comedy series about a beach rescue team of teen underdogs and their challenges in the ritzy town of Malibu. The main characters hail from the Valley, a less well-to-do area than their work environment of Malibu, a place their self-important peers call home. Their contentious relationships are based on stereotypes and fostered by the adult leader of their Junior Rescue Program. There's a lot of verbal teasing and even some mild physical bullying, as when a rescuer cuts a victim's rope as he dangles from a cliff and forces him to make a promise before she will save him. Even adult leaders get in on the meanness, leaving the Valley kids feeling (understandably) like the world is against them. On the upside, they remain determined to reach their goal of succeeding as junior rescuers, and the adversity helps inspire their efforts to learn and grow. This series assumes that viewers have watched Malibu Rescue: The Movie, which first introduces the characters and their journey to the Junior Rescue Program, and it takes some time to get up to speed if they haven't.
Is It Any Good?
What initially hints at being an inspirational underdog story quickly devolves into a cesspool of teenage snarkiness and stereotyping that torpedoes the show. The Valley kids are at an immediate disadvantage in their new surroundings, and no one -- not even the adult director and supposed role model -- seems willing to give them a fair chance at success. As they steel themselves against the barrage of verbal taunts, cruddy tasks, and uppity behavior of their co-workers, Dylan and her crew struggle to fit in and excel.
Malibu Rescue: The Series misses a prime opportunity to foster positive themes of tolerance and fairness among teens in a show that's geared toward the tween set. Instead of showing its diverse characters overcoming their differences, it relegates them to stringent, one-dimensional attitudes and actions that sabotage any challenges to stereotypes. The bottom line? There are better picks for this age group than a show that presents teen and working relationships like this.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate