NYC Prep TV Poster Image

NYC Prep



Reality show take on Gossip Girl life falls flat.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The featured teens live their lives with very few consequences, doing whatever they like when it comes to shopping, drinking, dating, and more. All of this sends some pretty iffy messages to teen viewers.

Positive role models

Completely positive role models are hard to find, but some teens are more admirable than others. One is fixated on getting into Harvard, for example, while another would rather focus on sex. Another 16-year-old lives curfew-free with her 18-year-old brother in the city while their parents -- who only drop in once a week -- live permanently in the Hamptons.

Not applicable

Teens talk about casual sex as a fact of life, with one claiming that "everyone has sex with each other and betrays each other."


Lots of bleeped cursing (think "f--k" and all its incarnations), as well as audible words like "bitch," "ass," and "hell."


It's not as label-heavy as you might expect, but high-end brand names like Jill Stuart and Rodarte are featured.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens are often shown in bars drinking alcohol (courtesy of fake IDs that most of them openly admit to having) and sometimes smoking cigarettes. Marijuana is mentioned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know the "stars" of this reality series -- which has been billed as a "real-life Gossip Girl" -- are privileged teens who essentially live like adults. That includes frequenting bars and night clubs and drinking heavily with the help of fake IDs. They also discuss casual sex in matter-of-fact terms, drop names when it comes to expensive designer brands, and call each other every name in the book (including "motherf--ker," though words like that are bleeped). It's everything kids are already seeing on shows like Gossip Girl ... but it's real (or at least as real as reality TV gets). Proceed with caution.

What's the story?

A reality series set in the upper echelons of New York City society, NYC PREP tracks the privileged lives of six wealthy prep school students. Most of them attend the same elite private school on the Upper East Side, but 15-year-old Taylor attends a magnet public school and mixes with kids of various backgrounds. Followed by the cameras, the teens go about their daily lives -- which often include hook-ups, friendship dramas, night club outings, high-end shopping trips, and more.

Is it any good?


Pointing out the fact that NYC Prep is a real-life Gossip Girl is sort of overstating the obvious. But even if you don't want to admit it (or watch it), it offers a fascinating and sometimes frightening peek into the world of the wealthiest 1 percent -- a world most of us will never experience firsthand.

After all, these cocktail-swilling kids are trying so hard to act like adults: They have the money to buy $675 sunglasses but lack the maturity to understand how life really works when you're trying to pay your own way. And yet they're fully aware that starring on a reality show somehow makes them even more "important." With that knowledge -- and the means to do pretty much whatever they want -- they're all too willing to preen and spout self-assured statements like "If you were a veggie burger, I'd so eat you."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the lives of these wealthy teens differ from the lives of most other high school students. Why were these particular teens chosen for the show? Do they have fewer worries than you do? Are there things they might have to worry about that you don't? Whose life would you rather live? Parents can also point out the obvious: That using fake IDs to get into bars and purchase alcohol is illegal -- and could even land teens in jail. What other consequences can behavior drinking, smoking, and casual sex have?

TV details

Premiere date:June 23, 2009
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of NYC Prep was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Status-driven teen drama is surprisingly positive.
  • Charming, funny take on Jane Austen's Emma.
  • Mature but often-hilarious teen comedy.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byDaley August 5, 2009

Seriously Disturbing

If anyone needs validation that our country is turning into ancient Rome, watch NYC Prep. One episode will do. Then you'll never have to watch it again and Don't Let Your Kids Watch
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byammyyyy August 18, 2009

Real Life Gossip Girl

I love this show and hope it goes back on for a second season! Sho
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byprincessali November 19, 2009


I love this show! Im 13 and I watch TV practically all day. When I looked up some of my favorites, most of them were voted 15 and up, 16 and up, stuff like that. I think its fine for 12 and up because just because they hear it on tv it doesnt mean they are going to say the same words or do the same things.
What other families should know
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?