Roll Call

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Roll Call TV Poster Image
Malala-inspired series shows girls' diverse experiences.

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

Educational Value

These brief biopics expose viewers to different life situations and places in the world. By watching, kids get to glimpse issues that might be new to them, including robotics competitions and the immigrant experience.


Positive Messages

Viewers learn about different places and cultures through the eyes of the young women who share their stories. The tales celebrate character strengths like determination, curiosity, pursuing one's goals, as well as a hefty dose of female empowerment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each young woman has overcome challenges of some kind to accomplish what she has, and still has lofty goals for the future. Many speak of being inspired by role models themselves, of taking advantage of every opportunity that arises.

Violence & Scariness

Some episodes touch on issues like genocide as they relate to the subjects' experiences.

Sexy Stuff

Very rarely logos like Apple are visible.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roll Call is a YouTube series from Malala Fund that spotlights the determined and inspiring experiences of eight young women from across the globe. From robotics pioneering in a male-dominated field to embracing the possibilities of the immigrant experience in America, the girls share their ideas, hopes, and passions in unscripted videos. Some of the stories touch on topics related to violence, such as escaping ISIS, so kids may have questions about what they don't understand. This meaningful series encourages female empowerment by presenting relatable, inspiring role models for girls.

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What's the story?

ROLL CALL introduces viewers to eight girls and young women from different countries who share their experiences and passions in self-recorded videos. The subjects talk about the issues that are important to them, including furthering female involvement in STEM fields and embracing the immigrant experience.

Is it any good?

The show's stars hail from Mexico, Pakistan, and Nigeria, among other countries, and the content in each episode varies greatly, but the central themes of empowerment and determination remain constant. That's not surprising, given the involvement of activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, of course, but the shorts are devoted entirely to the girls themselves, who tell their stories in their own words and at their own pace.

Roll Call's compelling content is worthwhile for kids -- and girls in particular -- because of its ability to inspire and motivate. In some cases the girls' experiences might be upsetting to sensitive viewers, as in the case of one who witnessed genocide. Often the show's brief format also leaves you wanting more than the five-minute runtime allows, which can be frustrating. Ultimately, though, what stays with you after the stories end is the incredible resilience and determination of the young subjects themselves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the value of character strengths like resilience and determination. How do they help you overcome challenges and weather difficult times? Are these areas in which you are particularly strong?

  • Kids: Who are some of your role models? What about them inspires you to look up to them? How does having strong role models help keep us focused on positive and constructive behavior? Can negative role models be helpful as well?

  • What commonalities do the young women in Roll Call share? How do their differences reflect their diverse experiences? Why is it important to respect diversity of race, creed, and opinion?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love girl power

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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