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 Max & Shred is a comedy series that centers on a positive friendship between teen boys who are more different than they are alike but who see past those differences to find common ground. The characters' troubles are standard coming-of-age fare -- crushes on girls, mishaps at school, and the like -- all of which are glossed over to some degree or another. That said, the teens get through them by leaning on each other and talking out their problems, which has positive messages. Expect to see some mild flirting and a decent helping of teen girls vying for the attention of the town's celebrity, but it's nothing that will come as a surprise to kids and tweens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When snowboarding phenom Max Asher (Jonny Gray) moves in with the Ackerman family to train nearby for an upcoming competition, the Ackermans' son, Alvin (Jake Goodman), is less than thrilled. Not only does he have to share his room with a complete stranger, but that stranger couldn't be more different from him. So it's a clash of personalities when easygoing Max bunks in with science whiz Alvin ... until a mistaken identity forces Alvin to walk a mile in Max's shoes, and he learns they have more in common than he thought. What follows is an epic friendship between these newly minted "bros," who discover that it's way more fun to face the ups and downs of teen life with each other than without.
Is it any good?
MAX & SHRED is a fun buddy comedy about unlikely friends who bridge a sizable gap to forge an enviable friendship. What stands out in this show is the likability of each of its title characters. Max is gracious and refreshingly unpretentious despite being a celebrity, and Alvin (or "Shred," as Max later christens him) is smart and savvy without being stereotypically geeky. Even better, they solve their problems by talking to each other or to someone else who can help them figure things out, including Shred's virtual personal assistant, Mr. Papadopulos (Darryl Hinds), who's usually quick with decent advice.
The show could have gone further to make other characters similarly appealing, in particular the Ackerman parents, who sometimes come across as more starstruck than some of the teens. But ultimately this keeps viewers' focus on the boys, whose antics are truly fun to watch and offer viewers really positive messages about relationships. Yes, theirs is a typical sitcom world in which problems are solved in a 30-minute window, but, to their credit, they express their feelings and value their friendship over the trials that threaten it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. Are some friendships more difficult than others to maintain? How do differences in personality cause conflicts among your peers? Is it possible to be friends with everyone? Why, or why not?
Are these characters good role models? What in their behavior makes you say so? Do they ever make poor decisions? If so, do they learn from them?
Even though Max and Alvin aren't brothers, the show raises some issues that relate to families and siblings. Kids: Are the sibling relationships in your house reminiscent of these characters'? Why is it sometimes a challenge to get along with your brothers and sisters? Can you think of anything that could make it easier to do so?
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