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 The Lodge is a British musical series set in Ireland and featuring a mostly teen cast. Main character Skye stands out among them for her optimism and ability to turn challenges into opportunities. She and her friends experience typical teen problems such as relationship struggles, crushes, and walking the fine line between childhood and adulthood, but, with few exceptions, they're a likable bunch. The story often references the recent loss of Skye's mother, and coping with her emotions helps motivate her to make the lodge work for her father and grandfather. Some characters' loyalties become suspect as secrets to the past are revealed, and at least one teen has a contentious relationship with his father. All in all, though, this is a worry-free pick for tweens.
What's the story?
THE LODGE opens with Skye (Sophie Simnett) and her dad, Ed, relocating to the North Star lodge in the Irish countryside for a new start after the death of Skye's mom. Excited to have this new connection to her mom and eager to befriend the local teens who work at the hotel, Skye is devastated to learn that her dad actually intends to sell the place to a local businessman. She convinces him to keep it and turns to her friends Kaylee (Jade Alleyne), Sean (Thomas Doherty), Ben (Luke Newton), and Noah (Jayden Revri) to help her give it a makeover, with some promotional help from a reality series called My Amazing Life. As the friends work together to improve the North Star, they also wrestle with teen angst in their relationships. Meanwhile, Skye uncovers secrets about her mother's past that prompt more digging into the people in her new town.
Is it any good?
This teen series offers lots of soapy drama, appealing original music (if fairly corny lip-synch sequences), and a standout female role model. Skye embraces change and works hard for what she wants, whether it's to stay in her mother's childhood home or to break into an established circle of friends. She's gregarious and open-minded, and she values loyalty and friendship in everyone around her. Of course, that's not enough to save her from teen stresses, so romance, jealousy, and plenty of other standard woes make their way around Skye and her peers. On the whole, though, the characters deal with these issues in positive ways.
The Lodge's all-European cast brings many new faces to Disney, giving the show a real freshness that suits the unique musical format on TV. It does fall into the familiar trap of portraying adults as dim, secretive, and self-serving, but ultimately that just brings the teens even more to the forefront of the story. Given this decent crop of young characters, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about change and making new starts on The Lodge. How does changing your circumstances help you grow as a person? To what degree can failing at something improve your chances of success in the future?
Do the musical sequences enhance this series or detract from it? Are there "villains" among the ensemble cast? Is the drama something you can relate to?
Skye is inspired by the recent loss of her mother. What inspires your tweens? How do they turn that inspiration into action in their life passions?
Themes & Topics
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