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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mighty Mustangs is an Australian comedy series about an unlikely girls soccer team that battles stereotypes in order to be taken seriously by the league, their competitors, and their peers. At the center of the story is Marnie, an indomitable optimist who refuses to give up on her dreams but never lets them become more important than her friendships. The show has a strong "girl power" theme and a very diverse cast, underscoring the value of building relationships on shared experiences while respecting differences. Expect some brief mention of matters like menstruation, bathroom habits, and the like, as well as some mild flirting among teens in this appealing series with strong female role models.
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What's the story?
MIGHTY MUSTANGS centers on Marnie (Emmanuelle Mattana), a soccer enthusiast who fields a misfit team and wrangles a coach into leading them in an effort to compete in the local league. Marnie has big dreams on the soccer pitch, but when she ages out of playing with the boys and the snobbish Wildcats give her an ultimatum she simply can't agree to, she and her best friend, Liv (Ashleigh Marshall), must recruit players on their own. They wind up with a ragtag team including high-strung Anusha (Gemma Chua-Tran), reclusive Bella (Molly Broadstock), and talented Ruby (Celine Ajobong). At the same time, Marnie balances a new family dynamic when her mom's boyfriend, Kev (Stephen Hall), moves in with his daughter, Lara (Monique Heath).
Is it any good?
Girl power reigns supreme in this funny and heartwarming Aussie comedy about friendships that defy all kinds of differences. The Mustangs are a veritable cross-section of modern society, with various ethnicities, personality types, and yes, even physical sizes represented among the athletes. But rather than gloss over this aspect of the character pool, Mighty Mustangs brings it to the forefront and presents it in positive ways. This is especially true in the case of Liv, who acknowledges that her weight makes her different from her friends but never lets herself be defined by it. This proactive and honest content is a breath of fresh air in kids and tween programming.
The interference the Mustangs face from all directions feels a bit overblown at times, but it serves the valuable purpose of inspiring the characters' actions, which are full of great illustrations of perseverance and self-belief. Expect a fair amount of meanness on the part of the story's bullies, but overall a great presentation of positive teen relationships and the unifying impact of sports.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how different female characters are cast in Mighty Mustangs. Is there value in presenting some as bullies? Which girls stand out as positive role models? What character traits do you most admire in them? Teamwork? Compassion?
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mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Did the level of discrimination the Mustangs faced surprise you? In what ways has gender equality improved of late? Are there areas in which there's still progress to be made?
In what ways does Mighty Mustangs suggest that there's strength to be found in diversity? How does seeing characters of different colors, ethnicities, and body types affect your perception of what is the "right" look? Why is it important to have a positive self-image?
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