TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Private TV Poster Image
Online boarding school drama has some violence, sex.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Easton Academy is full of rich students with entitled attitudes -- who don't really suffer too many consequences for said attitudes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of the kids engage in iinappropriate behavior, from hazing/ridicule to rule breaking. Adults don't always appear to be aware of what's going on with the teens.


Frequent discussions about death and suicide. Images of a student falling to her death from the top of Billings House (no visible blood).


Lots of sexual innuendo, ranging from co-ed flirting to kissing and making out. Girls are shown undressing and standing in their lacy underwear.


Words like “damn it” are audible.


The wealthy Easton Academy girls wear uniforms but carry Yves St. Laurent, Prada, and other brand name purses. Other references to brand-name clothing and other items.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Possibility for underage drinking/smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this online series based on the popular boarding school novel by Kate Brian includes a main character being hazed and ridiculed. There are frequent references to death and suicide -- a student is shown falling to her death from a rooftop (there's no blood). Also expect some iffy language and sexual content, including making out and female students shown getting undressed and standing in their lacy underwear.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent November 30, 2010

Excellent show for ages 11 (6th grade) and up

Private is an excellent show for ages 11 (6th grade) and up. Kids will enjoy the fun details of the wealthy and privileged. Your children should be smart enough... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byjm97 December 16, 2012

Just don't.

This movie, web series, whatever it was, was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. Fifteen minutes into I was so weirded out by it I turned it off. The ac... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byRachiiBbzXx April 2, 2011


Rubbish compared to books, completely different story line from book and doesnt do book any justice at all. I watched it all and the whole time i was thinking,... Continue reading

What's the story?

PRIVATE, an online series based on the novel by Kate Brian, follows sophomore scholarship recipient Reed Brennan (Kelsey Sanders) as she tries to fit in to her new life at upscale Easton Academy. She endures frequent hazing in order to fit in with her Billings House housemates -- including roommate Taylor (Tristin Mays), class president Ariana (Natalie Floyd), and ring leader Noelle (Samantha Cope). And she also catches the eye of Thomas Pearson (Brant Daugherty), a popular student with a dark side. As Reed navigates her way through her new world, She discovers that Billings holds a frightening mystery -- and some of her clasmates aren’t who they seem to be.

Is it any good?

Like many other online series, Private mixes teen conflict and romance with mystery. While these themes are hardly original, they're probably enough to attract teens (particularly those on the younger side). The fact that these young characters live in a rather autonomous world will also be appealing.

Although it’s definitely milder than some online shows out there, Private still has enough mature story material, sexual innuendo, and violence to make it iffy for tweens. But teens, especially those who are fans of the book, will likely be anxious to check it out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the behavior portrayed in teen soaps like this.

  • Parents, try to put

  • your two cents in about what's realistic and what isn't. Ask your kids

  • how the issues and conflicts on the show are similar to and different

  • from those in real teens' lives.

  • Who are the "good" characters, and

  • what makes them different from the "bad" ones?

  • What's the appeal of shows about cliques and "mean

  • girls"? Are they just an escape, or do they promote problematic values?

  • Do they impact the way girls treat one another -- or themselves?

  • What do you think it's like to go to a private boarding school? What

  • would be some of the advantages and disadvantages?

TV details

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