By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Whiz kids break stereotypes, make being smart cool.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kids see some basic applications of science in the girls' many projects and experiments, which incorporate aspects of math, engineering, chemistry, and physics, among other disciplines.
The series pushes girl power in all the best ways, focusing on a group of teens whose friendship brings out the best in each member. They make being smart, self-assured, and supportive of their peers enviable qualities. The concept of a special-ops team consisting of teen girls is a bit of a stretch, but it serves the show's positive themes, which include courage. There's diversity within the cast as well.
Positive Role Models
McKeyla and her friends are highly intelligent and proud of it, and it gets them noticed by an elite force of powerful women (headed by one who shows up to support the girls' work) who value that same quality. Because their expertise is in the sciences, they promote the value of STEM studies among girls in particular.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hints at attraction between boys and girls, but it's not a dominant force in the story.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Project Mc2 aims to dismantle stereotypes associated with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects by casting four diverse, intelligent teen girls as math and science whizzes who are recruited by an elite, all-female conglomeration of secret agents. The girls are racially diverse, and even though they share an interest in math and science, their specialties (physics, programming, chemistry) are different, which makes them a great team. They value their friendship and work well together, especially under the direction of an independent, accomplished female mentor.
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Based on 22 parent reviews
Nice concept but negatives
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What's the Story?
When the new girl in school sparks the curiosity of best friends Adrienne (Victoria Vida), Bryden (Genneya Walton), and Camryn (Ysa Penarejo) in PROJECT MC2, they team up to discover the secret behind her suspicious behavior. What they learn is that McKeyla (Mika Abdalla) is actually a secret agent working for Innovate, an elite team of women who secretly run the world, and she's been assigned to their town because of threats made on a visiting dignitary. But far from suffering consequences for their discovery, the three friends are recruited by Innovate's leader, the Quail (Danica McKellar), to train as operatives themselves, thanks to their superior intellect and problem-solving skills.
Is It Any Good?
In a media climate that often feels heavy on teen sex, fighting among girls, and bullying, this wholesome series centers on girls who are so busy excelling in school that they don't have time for such nonsense. Not only do they make being the smart kids look cool, their accomplishments also earn them some pretty enviable (if mostly unbelievable) jobs as undercover agents. And with the highly intelligent Quail as their mentor, these girls quickly come to realize that there's no limit to what they can do.
Even though Project Mc2 touts girl power at its finest, there's no reason to rule out boys as potential viewers as well. Especially if yours have an interest in math or science, there's plenty to keep their interest in the characters' experimentations with various gadgets and concoctions. If nothing else, at least they'll see some fun applications of math and science skills at play.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Project Mc2's intent. What does it try to teach about science or math? What does it have to say about gender stereotypes as they relate to these subjects?
Are all these girls good role models? What qualities do your tweens admire in them? Why is it important to identify role models and be inspired by them?
Did your tweens learn anything about science or math by watching this show? What applications of the characters' knowledge look the most interesting to them?
How do the characters in Project Mc2 demonstrate courage? Why is this an important character strength?
- Premiere date: August 7, 2015
- Cast: Ysa Penarejo, Mika Abdalla, Victoria Vida, Genneya Walton
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: STEM, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Courage
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
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.
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