Privileged

 
Status-driven teen drama is surprisingly positive.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's intelligent, well-educated protagonist starts out with high ideals but ultimately grapples with temptation. Can she stay true to herself and still reap the rewards of a privileged lifestyle? Her teen charges are equally complex: They lost both of their parents in a tragic accident and have tried to fill the void with material things.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some kissing, and sex is mentioned a few times but never shown in graphic detail. There's also some higher-level sexual innuendo, such as the fact that the main character's college thesis topic dealt with phallic imagery.

Language

"Bitch" (and variations like "bitchy") is used a good bit, along with other descriptive put-downs like "douche bag," "slutty ho bag," and "hooker." The word "vajayjay" is also used.

Consumerism

A few high-end brands (like Versace) are mentioned. The Bakers' world is full of fancy, high-end products and luxuries.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adult characters drink in social settings; in at least one scene, teens are also shown drinking champagne and what appear to be mixed drinks at a society gathering. The drinks are quietly taken from them, but there are no serious consequences.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is dramedy is actually a decent choice for older teens because it thoughtfully explores a world of privilege that's often glorified in today's popular culture. Still, there's a good bit of blunt language to contend with (think "vajayjay" and "douche bag") and some instances of underage drinking (which don't appear to have serious consequences). And, context or no, teens who watch will see a fair number of high-end brands and get an eyeful of a generally luxurious, unattainable lifestyle.

What's the story?

When Yale-educated writer-on-the-rise Megan Smith (Joanna Garcia) loses her job at a New York City tabloid, it opens the door for a whole new career in Palm Beach: playing tutor to a pair of privileged teens (Lucy Hale and Ashley Newbrough) whose parents were killed in a tragic accident and now live with their cosmetics mogul grandmother, Laurel Limoges (Anne Archer). If Megan can get the errant high schoolers into Duke University, the girls' grandmother will pay off Megan's pile of student loans. But for Megan, pulling it off might mean sidestepping a few of her noble ideals. After all, Laurel doesn't care how Megan gets the girls into Duke -- as long as she makes it happen.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Armed with a hummable soundtrack of pop hits and an intensely likeable protagonist, PRIVILEGED is more appealing than "just another teen soap." Teens will love the characters, the romantic subplots, and the glamour of a fashionable world in which girls routinely "puke outfits cuter than yours." But parents will be happy to know that the overall message is more good than bad. Sure, there are a few plot points that require a serious suspension of disbelief (like the fact that Megan could land this gig in the first place). But the best part of the show is that it doesn't blindly idolize the lives of society kids -- instead, it reveals a bit of tarnish on all that bling they're wearing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this show compares to other series about teens who live in mansions and live lives of luxury? Does it seem more or less realistic? Why? How do this show's messages compare to those of other teen series? Families can also discuss whether the two privileged sisters in Megan's care resemble any of the "society celebs" you read about in the tabloids. Does it surprise you to see that someone who's living the "good life" isn't truly happy? Do you think Megan made the right choice in taking -- and keeping -- her job as the twins' tutor? Would you have made the same decision? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Ashley Newbrough, Joanna Garcia, Lucy Hale
Network:CW
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Privileged was written by

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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; OK 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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Teen, 15 years old Written byjm97 December 16, 2012
age 12+
 

PRIVILEGED

I absolutely love this show! The dynamic of the twins, played by Lucy Hale and Ashley Newbrough, is great and hilarious! Joanna Garcia (from Reba) just adds even more to this show. love love love love love love love love
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byfromakid February 8, 2009
age 9+
 

okay

alright, seriously people. by the time a kid is ten years old they've heard and seen stuff way worse than this. i really sont know why it says ages fourteen and up on here but it is a really good show- parents, megan is a good roll model -from a thirteen year old
Educator and Parent Written bymamachildsafe132 July 19, 2013
age 17+
 

its great

this is so bad it is like a r rated movie it should be rated M-A
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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