A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Resiliency is a positive message carried by the show. However, the series downplays the trauma suffered by the main character, which weakens the message.
Positive Role Models
Characters are too soapy to really land; we don't get a sense of even Jackie as a real person rather than a character going through plot machinations. The show's good boy vs. bad boy setup is hokey and reductive.
Characters are mostly white; there are side characters of color but aren't focused on much. The actress who plays Jackie, Nikki Rodriguez, is of Latin descent. A teacher uses a wheelchair; it goes uncommented-upon and he's an effective and respected teacher.
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Violence & Scariness
Jackie loses her parents and sister in an accident which is referred to obliquely in a news report.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance is a major focus of the show. Expect kissing, dating, flirting, romantic complications, references to off-screen sex couched as "hooking up."
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Language is infrequent: "hell," "oh s--t" (before cutting off at the first "sh").
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Products & Purchases
The Walter family lives on a Colorado ranch with money issues; expect that to be part of the drama.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Life with the Walter Boys is a teen soap opera centered on a love triangle, and is based on a 2014 novel. All three of the main characters live together in a family unit, which may give some parents pause, but the romantic couples aren't related by either marriage or blood. Romantic complications are frequent -- pretty much the centerpiece of the show. Expect kissing, dating, flirting, and romantic drama. There's a reference to off-screen sex, with a boy said to "hook up" with girls. Language is infrequent and includes "hell," "oh sh--" (cut off before the end), etc. The action and characters are too soapy to really drive home positive messages, but main character Jackie's (Nikki Rodriguez) resilience in the face of tragedy (her parents and sister have been killed in a car accident) is a positive point.
Is It Any Good?
A tragic accident puts a teen girl in "boy heaven" (as one character puts it) in this predictable but easygoing rom-commy teen series. In My Life with the Walter Boys, ambitious high school sophomore Jackie loses her whole nuclear family (mom, dad, and sister). On the other hand, her new foster family is chockablock with romantic possibilities: six appropriately-aged male pseudo brothers who -- and this is key -- Jackie is not really related to. Will she wind up with Danny the brooding actor, Alex the "bookish shy guy," or Cole, the new faux sibling introduced in lingering camera shots that leer at his beauty.
It's clear at once that Jackie's going to be faced with an Edward vs. Jacob type choice between the difficult bad boy and the sweet Alex, though it's amusing enough to watch it play out between these charming young actors, Rodriguez in particular. LaLonde also seems destined to draw squeals from a certain percentage of the teen viewing population; in a different era, his face might stare out from teen fan magazines. It all goes down quite easily in a show that's hardly breaking any new ground but is enjoyable nonetheless, particularly for teen viewers hoping for uncomplicated romantic thrills.
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.