What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series from the creators of Total Drama Island and 6teen focuses on teen characters who are spending their summer working, surfing, and flirting. The scenario and the characters are pretty believable for an animated series, and the conflicts and dramas will be relatable for older tweens and young teens. There are a few references to epic parties but no actual drinking; there’s also some tame romance, a few scantily clad surfer-girls, and very mild flirting -- but no swearing or other content red flags.
What's the story?
STOKED, as the name suggests, is all about surfing, focusing on a diverse group of young people spending the summer working at a fancy surfing resort. Yes, they have menial jobs and are crashing in a filthy, dilapidated dorm, but the tradeoff is that they get to spend their free time at the beach -- and riding the waves. The cast of characters includes champion female surfer Fin, naïve-but-eager surfing novice Emma, laid-back Broseph (who’s never met a horizontal surface he couldn’t use for a nap), cocky surf instructor Reef, front-desk clerk Johnny, and spoiled rich-girl Lo, the daughter of the resort’s owner, who’s never worked before and isn’t keen to learn now. The gang spends their days grumbling about their jobs, flirting with each other, and, yes, surfing those epic waves.
Is it any good?
The animated series from the same team that created the Total Drama Action franchise paints a fairly realistic picture of summer jobs. The characters are appealing, and though they veer just slightly into stereotype, they also seem just like the teens or college kids you might actually find working at a resort for the summer.
The mini-dramas that make up the plot aren't especially deep -- will Fin or Reef land the coveted job of surfing instructor? Will Lo’s dad find out about her massive party? Does Reef secretly have a crush on Fin? But these are just the kind of conflicts that would loom large for teens -- both the ones portrayed on the series and in real life. It’s not a complex show, but it’s fun. And don’t forget about the excellent animated surfing sequences.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about who this show is designed to appeal to. Is it teens, because the characters are teenagers? Or is it younger kids, because they often like to watch shows about older age groups?
How do gender roles/expectations play out on the show? The show's best male and female surfers often argue over who's better, a debate that sometimes takes on overtones of sexism (as in “You’re pretty good, for a girl"). Do you think men and women can compete as equals in some sports? Is surfing one of them?
Does this seem like a realistic way that teens or college students might spend the summer? What kinds of jobs are out there for young people who want to see the world? Why do you think summer vacation and summer jobs are such popular subjects for TV shows and movies?