A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Strong cast diversity and some good messages about self-esteem (a girl tells her date that she's working on being the woman of her own dreams, not his); on the other hand, one character emails a nude, doctored picture of her "enemy" to the entire student body and is publicly humiliated in retaliation, the characters do a lot of IMing/text messaging, and a teen boy looks at porn on the computer while "doing his homework."
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One character films her friends' stories about their "first time" one main character is a lesbian (whose relationship with her "straight" best friend is fraught with sexual tension); plenty of sexual innuendoes ("glad we don't shoot the same DNA," "[that shirt] says that you're happy not getting any," etc.); sexualized teen girls wear tiny skirts and shorts and cropped shirts.
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Some language, including "ass" and "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Teens are attached to their cell phones; while the show is running, other N shows and web sites are promoted on-screen.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this edgy teen drama series openly discusses a range of complex topics, including sex, sexual orientation, adoption, loss of virginity, dating, and cyberbullying. Characters use mature language, and both dialogue and characters are sexually charged.
Is It Any Good?
Though reflective of modern teen issues (dealing with friendships, discovering sexual orientation, dating, having sex, maintaining a reputation), South of Nowhere is a little indulgent in its sexual connotations and sexually charged characters and behaviors -- at least from an adult's perspective. But it's likely accurate. Parents could benefit from watching a program like this, with or without their teens. It offers a quick lesson in the importance teens put on privacy, IMing, texting, having sex, fitting in, coping with first crushes, and dealing with stereotypes, cliques, and friendships. Each character seems to embrace more than a few typical stereotypes, perhaps to ensure that all viewers will have someone or something to relate to. Thanks to good writing and strong performances, it's actually a successful recipe.
Overall, the series is a nice blend of modern teen life for mature teen viewers and the traditional dating and high school behavior adults might better relate to. And while South of Nowhere certainly isn't lacking in overtly flirty glances, occasional zoom shots of body language, ultra-short skirts, and super-low necklines, it actually lands on the map somewhere between the raciness of The O.C. and the edgy grittiness of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
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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Our Editors Recommend
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