School Gyrls

Common Sense Media says

Teen pop musical belts out iffy messages, stereotypes.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie supports stereotypes of teen cliques, labeling them "jocks," "cool kids," "posh," and "geeks." Cultural stereotypes also abound, portraying Latino Jacque as a street-savvy girl from the 'hood, for instance. School is presented as a venue for socialization rather than a place of learning. Attempts to incorporate empowering messages about self-esteem, respect, and honesty are weak and overshadowed by the iffy content. On a positive note, the main characters are culturally diverse, and a main character learns the importance of being true to herself.

Positive role models

The main characters often break the rules to get what they want. They sneak out of detention, steal school property, and break into administrators’ offices to snoop through files. A snobby girl bullies her peers, and in one case uses the Internet to humiliate a younger teen who flirts with her boyfriend. The school’s principal gives into the demands of a spoiled student and her wealthy father.  

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Lots of flirting -- most of which is initiated by girls -- and a few kisses on the cheek. Comments about “scoping” the opposite sex are common. Teen girls wear tight outfits and short skirts, and in one case, their shorts are cut high enough that their butts are visible.

Language

No cursing, but multiple instances of “butt," "freakin’," "Oh, my God," and "stupid."

Consumerism

The movie is designed to highlight the real-life trio’s musical numbers, which are available for purchase and download.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this TV movie directed by popular comedian Nick Cannon is filled with stereotypes that divide teens into one-dimensional groups like jocks, geeks, and mean girls. The school’s snob queen uses peer pressure on her friends, harasses her enemies, and uses the Internet to humiliate a girl after she flirts with the girl’s boyfriend, all without repercussions or due justice from adults. Some of the teens use a lot of slang words ("krispy" and "'tude," for instance), and accompanying pop-ups offer definitions for viewers who aren’t familiar with the terms. What’s more, the hour-long movie has the feel of an elongated ad for a music trio’s music, as the content breaks for five music videos throughout the story.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

SCHOOL GYRLS is a musical comedy that centers on the eponymous, real-life teen pop group consisting of Mandy Moseley, Jacqueline (Jacque) Ray Pyles, and Monica Parales (a.k.a. Mo Money). The trio star as newcomers to an exclusive private high school where they’re thrown together as roommates and discover a common passion for music and dance. With a penchant for trouble and a deep rivalry with the school’s resident popularity snob, Mandy, Jacque, and Monica enter a teen competition in an effort to dance their way to respect from their peers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

First, the good news. To call this trio of starlets "talented" is to commit a serious understatement. Their individual talents in song and dance complement each other so well that it’s difficult to not like them, and tweens are sure to be drawn to the energy and excitement they display in their musical numbers.

That said, there are a lots of reasons for parents to take issue with the messages School Gyrls offers tweens, and girls especially. In its brief 60-minute format, the movie shows examples of bullying (including one instance of cyberbullying), peer pressure, and theft, none of which has real-world consequences. Stereotyping is also a big concern here, and it goes beyond the typical casting of high school students as jocks or cool kids, incorporating cultural stereotypes as well. Weak attempts to inject cookie-cutter values like honesty and self-esteem can’t redeem the movie’s pitfalls, so truly positive content is at a minimum in this music-driven movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bullying and cyberbullying. How would you define bullying? Have you ever witnessed or been subjected to bullying behavior? How was it handled? What recourse do bullying victims have?

  • Tweens: How prevalent is imbedded advertising on TV or in the movies? Have you noticed it in your favorite shows? Did you get the sense that this movie was attempting to promote the pop group’s music? Are you more inclined to listen to the trio's music because of the movie? Why or why not?

  • Parents and tweens can talk about stereotyping. What examples of stereotyping exist in this movie? Did you feel they were extreme, or are they comparable to what you see in other shows, movies, or real life? Is stereotyping ever acceptable? How does our tolerance of it differ between entertainment styles (comedy to drama, for example)?

TV details

This review of School Gyrls was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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Kid, 10 years old August 8, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Uggghh

I lost brain cells watching this garbage! The only reason i even watched was because of Justin Bieber who was only on for a few minutes.Nothing bad though, but who cares it is stupid anyways. At least it was just an hour.
Teen, 14 years old Written byxXjulieroxurfuz... April 13, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
i agree but its all mild
Kid, 12 years old May 7, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

school gyrls ???????///////

Its ok but it could be better the songs take up most of the film so there is actually not a lot of acting.I think it was made to advertise school gyrls the band.

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