Prom Queen: Summer Heat

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Prom Queen: Summer Heat TV Poster Image
Online soap spin-off is racy and violent.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Catty behavior among superficial young women. Most of the cast is Caucasian, though Marisol is Mexican. Presents some Mexicans as poor, seedy, criminal and/or violent. Chad and Ben are referred to as "blanquitos" (little white boys).

Violence

Kidnapping is a major part of the storyline. Victims are tied up and blindfolded by mask-wearing assailants. Guns and sharp weapons are clearly visible. Blood is also shown; a bloody tooth (extracted from a victim as a form of torture) is prominently featured, though the actual extraction isn't shown.

Sex

Heavy flirting, kissing, and strong sexual innuendo, including references to oral sex and some kinky sexual behavior. Discussions about losing virginity. Underwear and bikini-clad teens are frequently visible. Chad refers to having sex with Mexican women as "trying Mexican strange."

Language

Mostly on the milder side: "damn," "hell," "bitch." Some profanity in Spanish.

Consumerism

Prominent placement of things like Verizon Wireless products and Fuji bottled water.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Underage drinking -- including beer and mixed drinks -- is clearly visible. Suggestions of drug activity along the U.S./Mexican border.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Prom Queen spin-off -- which airs uncensored online and has a prominent presence on MySpace -- features both violence and steamy sexuality. Each 90-second episode is jam-packed with enough sexual innuendo, scantily clad bodies, and underage drinking to make it an iffy choice even for teens. Watch out for drug use, some salty language, and other inappropriate and/or catty behavior as well. (And if all that weren't enough, there's some subtle commentary about the Mexican community that some viewers may find offensive, too.)

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What's the story?

PROM QUEEN: SUMMER HEAT follows up on Prom Queen, the online teen drama that followed the lives of a group of high school teens leading up to their senior prom. After that night's tragic events, Sadie (Katy Stoll) and Chad (David Loren) decide to take Ben (Sean Hankinson) to the Mexican border to have some summer fun before college. When they get there, they unexpectedly find themselves sharing a house with the catty Nikki (Alexandra French) and her cousin Mandy (Stephanie Furr). The group winds up entangled in a bizarre criminal triangle after Ben and Chad meet the mysterious Marisol (Angela Arimento). As they struggle to deal with the bizarre turn of events, they wind up reconnecting with old pal Josh (Jake Shideler).

Is it any good?

Unlike the original Prom Queen, Summer Heat's focus is more about the strange adult criminal storyline than over-the-top high school adolescent behavior. The show features some violence and suggests the use of torture. These moments are often introduced within a larger context of changing romantic relationships and sexual tension. As a result, the series continues to offer some guilty pleasure while trying to present a vaguely sophisticated (albeit far-fetched) storyline. You can catch up on episodes at the show's Web site; each character also has his or her own MySpace page.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the increasing popularity and presence of online television. Has online TV started to lose some of its novelty? Are shows created for the Internet more creative than what's on broadcast and cable channels, or is it more of the same? What appeal do online shows have for viewers? In general, how are Internet series and regular TV shows similar and different? What do you like and not like about each? Is this a show that could only exist online, or is it just a regular TV show cut up into short bits? Families can also talk about popular online social sites like MySpace. Why do so many people (including fictitious ones) create and post content on these sites? What are the benefits and dangers?

TV details

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