A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Team Kaylie is a sitcom about a social media influencer (Bryana Salaz) who starts leading school wilderness group the Porcupines after she's assigned to do community service. With its wish-fulfillment plot about tweens who get to know an online celebrity, the setup will appeal to young viewers, but this series does have some iffy content. Characters are often rude to each other, particularly a group of wealthy kids from a rival school who call the Porcupines things like "Porcupoops." One character has a crush on a schoolmate and frequently makes romantic advances, which are rebuffed. Characters are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, body type, class, and gender presentation, and each episode has a lesson like "don't give up" (even if the lessons are sometimes muddied). Kaylie herself is painted as super-rich; we hear a lot about the luxury brands she likes. And some jokes are surprisingly mature: Kaylie says that when she dies, her mom plans to sell her cremains in necklaces, and a principal says she sympathizes with students "as much as my pain medication will let me." Scary scenes like one in which a character slips and almost falls down a mountain are played for laughs and have a light tone.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A judge sentenced rich and famous social media influencer Kaylie (Bryana Salaz) to community service, but she never thought she'd wind up as the leader of TEAM KAYLIE. It turns out that the Pino Porcupines, a wilderness club at a local inner city middle school, need an adult to act as their club advisor -- and Kaylie's the closest thing to an adult they can find who's willing. Now Jackie (Symera Jackson), Chewy (Elie Samouhi), Amber (Alison Fernandez), Valeria (Eliza Pryor), and Ray Ray (Kai Calhoun) are on Team Kaylie, like it or not. Funny thing, though? They may just like it -- and Kaylie -- after all.
Is it any good?
Decent writing and appealing actors breathe a bit of life into this artificial and cliched sitcom, which feels much like a throwback to Disney Channel series from the early 2000s. Characters are glossy, mannered, and throw rehearsed quips at each other in lieu of actually relating -- nothing here can be mistaken for authentic. And yet, young viewers who are in search of a feather-light entertainment experience with a modern wish-fulfillment angle may be captivated anyway.
Social media influencers are the movie stars of Generation Z, there's no doubt about it, and many a tween has hatched a few fantasies about spending time with their favorite Instagrammer or YouTuber. And with her super-chic outfits and glossy hair (as well as the sweetness that frequently pokes through her media-savvy personality) Bryana Salaz makes an attractive faux celebrity. The Team Kaylie cast is also a bit cooler than the ones found on early-naughties Disney Channel: diverse not just in race, gender, and ethnicity, but also in terms of class, body type, and gender presentation. Team Kaylie can't be mistaken for great art. But in terms of guilty-pleasure tween TV, it's at least a step in the right direction.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the characters on Team Kaylie relate to each other. Kids: Do you think the characters' relationships are realistic? How are the show's characters similar to you and your friends? How are they different? Do you know anyone who openly carries on a crush on someone not interested in them, as Chewy does to Amber? Is the way he behaves realistic? Is it polite? Is it offensive?
Families can also talk about how Kaylie's reality compares to yours. Is hers an average lifestyle? Can you relate to her problems? How might you solve them differently than she does?
How many internet celebrities can you name? What makes them famous? Are they good role models? Why or why not? Is Kaylie a good role model?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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