My Life as Liz

Common Sense Media says

Spunky, somewhat edgy series shares teen girl's life.

Age(i)

2
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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most episodes carry a positive central message about breaking free from stereotypes and others' perceptions of what you should be -- and, most of all, giving people a chance to reveal their true selves. But it isn't all puppies and kittens, as Liz is constantly battling her own prejudices against her fellow classmates, which are almost as strong as their prejudices against her.

Positive role models

Liz isn't perfect -- she's prone to scowling, salty language and snap judgments. But her independent spirit shows girls that it's OK to be different and follow your own muse. She used to be part of a shallow clique at school but removed herself from it when she realized she didn't like what it was about.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

A few girls appear in bikinis or cleavage-bearing tops, but it's rare. Occasional use of sexually charged humor, like two girls pretending to twist each other's nipples and describing a guy as "sweaty and ready."

Language

Lots of "gateway" words to choose from, including heavy use of "douche" and terms like "poo-hole" and "puked in my mouth." Other audibles include "hell," "damn," and "bitch." There's also some bleeped swearing ("f--k"), although it's rare.

Consumerism

Some teens mention brands by name, including Hollister and Lucky Brand jeans.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, even though this series is presented as a documentary-style "reality" show about a girl going through her senior year of high school, much of it feels at least partially scripted. So teens should know that they aren't necessarily watching actual events unfold ... at least, not exactly as they'd unfold in real life. On the up side, the show has some positive messages about shattering stereotypes and reaching out across chasms between cliques. But the characters' penchant for salty language (including heavy use of "douche" and terms like "hell," "damn," and "bitch," along with a few instances of bleeped curses) makes it an iffy choice for viewers who haven't yet hit high school themselves.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

High school senior Liz Lee lets cameras capture her world in MY LIFE AS LIZ, a reality series about being a teenager in the small southern town of Burleson, Texas. According to Liz, most people in Burleson -- including her school's resident \"shallow bitch squad\" -- are too close-minded to get her against-the-grain style. But she's found some kindred souls in her best friends Sully, Troy, and Miles, and she's making inroads with Bryson, a cute boy who refuses to be categorized.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's tough to critique the merits of a show that proclaims to be real but often doesn't feel that way (many of the show's moments seem like they must be scripted). My Life as Liz would be just as effective if it were presented as a scripted drama and peopled with unknown actors instead of unknown teens. And aren't these teens already doing a good bit of acting anyway by allowing producers to set up cameras and get multiple-angle shots of their conversations? It's a wobbly world we weave.

So what is it about "reality" -- or at least the illusion of it -- that's seemingly so appealing to TV viewers? It could have something to do with the harsh reality that similarly themed teen dramas like My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks -- hailed by critics but largely ignored by audiences -- were ultimately canceled. Ouch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what this show really is: Is it a reality show, or is it a scripted drama? And, more importantly, does that matter? What are some of the clues that it isn't entirely "real"?

  • Which characters do you relate to the most -- and who do you think is the most admirable? Do you see Liz as a positive role model? Does she always make the right decisions?

  • What does the show have to say about stereotypes? Have you ever had a preconceived notion about someone, only to realize later that you were wrong? Which is easier -- making a snap judgment about another person or getting to know them?

TV details

Cast:Liz Lee
Network:MTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of My Life as Liz was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old February 15, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

perfect for mature tweens and teens (:

Love this show! It sends really positive messages to kids our age, telling them that it's OK to be different, and that sure some people might not take too well to your not fitting their cookie cutter image but that's OK, because who you are makes up YOU and that you shouldn't change just for other people who didn't like the real you. Liz iz (get it? Liz iz. *sigh* yeah I know. lame) a very positive role model who stands up for what she knows is right and doesn't let herself be molded into what others want her to become. Minus a few innuendos and the occasional swear word there's nothing to really be worried about here. Whether it's scripted or not, it's a fantastic reality show that I think people of all ages will enjoy (:
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byAllyluvsyou April 2, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

It's okay...

This show is okay. It's pretty predicatable and can get boring though. The language isn't polite, but it isn't really bad.Also, the sexual parts aren't very sexual. The smallest amount of clothes are girls in bikinis and cleavage which I personally don't find very bad.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byKRAZYLOVE March 8, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
GREAT SHOW
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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