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Parents' Guide to


By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mindless (but addictive) surf town drama.

TV WB Drama 2004
Summerland Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (1 ):

Like peering into a tide pool full of outlandish creatures, it's hard to look away from the imaginary world of Summerland -- but this show is perplexing to say the least. Half of the issues going on in the household are inappropriate for the kids who live there, which begs the question -- why bring kids into the mix at all? Of course, this premise is the challenge confronting the adults. But to imply that kids should watch Summerland simply because an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old are playing roles here is ridiculous. This is not family viewing. It is what junk food is to the average American -- you may crave it, but there is no substance whatsoever.

Although there are great waves to catch and an amusing time to be had trying to follow the exploits of the characters, some of the weak moral lessons here can be dangerously trite. Real problems like coping with the death of both parents and adjusting to a new culture are not going to disappear like the tide. And ultimately, even for all of her good intentions, Ava will never be mom to the three kids she inherits. These kids will likely instead adopt the habits put forth by her roommates, who have not quite grown out of the idea that life ain't nothing but a party. In short, be wary of Summerland -- because like the song "Hotel California" says, "you can check out, but you can never leave."

TV Details

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