So Awkward

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
So Awkward TV Poster Image
Middle school-set series is relatable fun for young viewers.

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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

Positive Messages

The problems young characters face are mild: issues with schoolwork, classmates, parents. Families are supportive and loving. Some iffy messages about appearance and body types, like a stern librarian who's given a phony mustache to make her look sillier, and a large-bodied man who clumsily breaks furniture and spills tea. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lily, Jas, and Martha are kindhearted main characters who sometimes make (small) mistakes but always wind up doing the thoughtful, loving thing. Adults sometimes depicted as foolish: Principal Mrs. Griggs has a wheel in her office that students spin to select a punishment, Mrs. Hampton humiliates her daughter with silly stories of her toddlerhood. But ultimately parents, too, are loving: "I'm proud of you for caring so much about your friends," says Mr. Salford after Jasmine acts up at school on Martha's behalf. 

Violence

Violence very mild and of the comic variety, like when Ollie accidentally throws water in Lily's brother's face, or Jas and Martha throw smoke bombs at school in an attempt to get detention so that Martha's mom will pay attention to her. 

Sex

Age-appropriate discussion of crushes and dating, and being boyfriends or girlfriends. In one episode, Ollie tries to figure out what girls want; Matt tells him being a good boyfriend is about making your girlfriend happy. He suggests flowers, balloons, holding hands, saying things that make them smile. 

Language

No cursing. At one point, a fed-up Jasmine says "Oh, pants!" and that's about as fierce as it gets. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that So Awkward is a series about young teens navigating social issues at school. It has no drugs or drinking, no sex (save for discussion about dating, crushes, and how you should act if you're a boyfriend or a girlfriend), and no cursing. Violence is mild and comic: A boy throws a glass of water in another boy's face, and two girls throw smoke bombs down a school hallway, for instance. Young characters are concerned with schoolwork, teachers, parents, and extracurricular activities. Parents are present and supportive, but the adults on this show are sometimes depicted foolishly: A ridiculously stern librarian is given a fake mustache, and a man with a large body is shown as clumsy and constantly breaking things. But overall, this show is gentle and inoffensive, perfect for elementary school students who want to see other kids making mistakes and then learning how to fix them. 

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old May 12, 2018

So awkward

I think this show is great! This is educational because it shows resolving mistakes. The only problem is girlfriends and boyfriends, but its in a way that'... Continue reading

What's the story?

Lily Hampton (Cleo Demetriou), Jas Salford (Ameerah Falzon-Ojo), and Martha Fitzgerald (Sophia Dall'aglio) are at an age when they feel SO AWKWARD. They're not sure where they fit in socially at school. Boys are a complete mystery. And parents are just so embarrassing, even (especially?) when they mean well. But at least they have good friends to rely on and muddle through with somehow. 

Is it any good?

Most people would agree that middle school is an awkward time, but the worse things are for Martha, Jas, and Lily, the more viewers will enjoy watching. The problems these British middle-graders face are so relatable: clueless parents, capricious school administrators, teasing classmates. There are comet-watching parties, and PE classes, and fake curses that make a team lose a hockey game. It's all so gentle, innocent, and charming that parents will be delighted to put this show on for their kids -- and elementary-schoolers will eagerly watch, hoping that So Awkward gives them a preview of what tweenhood will be like. 

It sure helps that the actors playing students are actually young and playing their age; they're not teens, or worse, 20-somethings pretending to be teens. Like real kids, these actors are unpolished and green: They clump down school hallways, they say the wrong thing at the wrong time, they roll their eyes when their embarrassing mother shows up and tells childhood stories. And like real kids, they're terribly sweet and easy to root for. They wear the dumb sweaters Mom knitted, they give every challenge their all, they fail and struggle and get up and try again. Middle school may not have been a great stage to live through, but viewed through the lens of this delightful series, it's lots of fun to watch. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how So Awkward's British heritage makes it different from an American-made show. Do the characters look or sound different from American students of the same age? Do they have the same or different concerns? Are the school and its teachers different? 

  • Why are schools a common setting for shows about young people? Are they similar to shows about adults that are set in workplaces? Why does a setting where many people come together make for a relatable or compelling framework for a series? 

  • How do characters in So Awkward demonstrate communication and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths

TV details

Character Strengths

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