New Girls on the Block

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
New Girls on the Block TV Poster Image
Transgender women support each other in solid reality show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Discusses the positive and negative impacts of gender transitioning and the discrimination that occurs as a result.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

The women support each other; friends and family members range from being very supportive to being unable to cope with or accept the transitioning. 

Violence

Occasional mild arguments. 

Sex

Gender reassignment a major theme; references to genitalia. The women go underwear shopping. 

Language

"Pissed, "damn"; curses muted. 

Consumerism

Logos for local Kansas City businesses prominently shown. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol (wine, cocktails) consumed over meals, at parties. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that New Girls on the Block is a reality series that chronicles the lives of a tight-knit group of transgender women. It highlights some of the positive life experiences they're having after gender reassignment, as well as the rejection and discrimination they face as a result of their transitions. There's some iffy language ("piss," "damn"; muted curses), some mild arguing, and references to genitalia. Wine drinking is occasionally visible.  

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What's the story?

NEW GIRLS ON THE BLOCK is a reality series that features a group of tight-knit transgender women in Kansas City, Missouri. The cast, who met in group therapy, includes Jaime, a nursing student and athlete who's finding it hard to be accepted as a woman in sports organizations; her partner AiYana, who struggles with her conservative mother's lack of acceptance; and Robyn, who is dating Andrew, her pretransition best friend. Also part of the group is Macy, who has undergone recent gender reassignment surgery, and whose wife, Sharon, is working hard to understand and support her. Then there's Kassidy and Chloe, two best friends who don't see each other very much since Kassidy's move to Houston. From supporting one another when they're faced with discrimination to celebrating the marriage of one of their group, they rely on one another to find acceptance in a society that does not fully understand who they are or what they're going through. 

Is it any good?

The series offers the opportunity for viewers to see what it means to be transgender, which is defined as being assigned a sex at birth that is different from the gender one identifies with. It highlights some of the real-life challenges transgender people experience, ranging from losing their children and legally getting fired to not being completely accepted in either male or female circles once the gender transition is complete.

The women, who come from all walks of life, describe transitioning as a difficult -- but positive -- personal experience. Although this is a good thing for them, it's not easy to watch some of their loved ones struggle to understand and cope with change. This show makes it clear that no matter which gender people identify with, we all face challenges and change in a very human way. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be transgender. What are some of the media stereotypes used to represent transgender individuals? How does the media raise awareness about the discrimination transgender people regularly face? 

  • Families can talk about the different reasons people choose to share their lives on reality shows. What do you think motivates the women on this show?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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