The Vineyard

 
(i)

 

Forgettable quasi-reality dramatizes young adult lives.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This docuseries attempts to create entertainment out of strained friendships and uncertain romantic connections between unfamiliar cast members. It intentionally places contentious personality types in close quarters for the most dramatic effect and revels in stereotypes of Martha's Vineyard seasonal and year-round residents and the bad blood between them. The young adults' behavior isn't always responsible or considerate, and often manipulation and selfishness guide their actions.

Positive role models

Every cast member has flaws, and their dirty laundry is aired for sport. Some manipulate, some misrepresent themselves, and some troll for sexual conquests. A few mean well, but even they are dragged into confrontations by their associations with others. Some of the cast members' parents are in the picture, and that's a mixed bag, too.

Violence

Occasional fistfights among the guys in the cast, but no serious injuries. 

Sex

Not surprisingly, sex is a frequent discussion topic among these young adults. If they're not actively flexing and flirting for the attention of the opposite sex, they're whispering about who's hot, who's on their conquest list for the summer, and whom they suspect to be hooking up. Casual physical contact like kissing is common (between same-sex and opposite-sex couples), there's a lot of suggestive dialogue (a guy mentions that a girl has a pretty nice bed, for instance), and more serious relationships develop as the show unfolds. Women frequently don skimpy bikinis; men are shown shirtless a lot.

Language

Intermittent cursing like "hell," with words like "s--t" bleeped. 

Consumerism

Martha’s Vineyard and the Black Dog Tavern are the setting for the show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Parties are a mainstay in the cast members' social lives, and they're often shown drinking what's presumed to be beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Vineyard is a voyeuristic docuseries that puts the lives of 11 young adults under a microscope for entertainment. Strong personalities clash in tight quarters, and there's a lot of competition for the attention of the opposite sex, which sometimes breeds manipulation and deceit. Expect some salty language ("hell" is audible, but stronger words like "s--t" are bleeped), frequent drinking, and a lot of time spent "hooking up." As with most reality TV, some cast members are slightly better behavior models than others, but this isn't a constant, nor is it a distinction that's easy for most teens to make, given how the show romanticizes the subjects' lives.

Parents say

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What's the story?

THE VINEYARD is set on idyllic Martha’s Vineyard and centers on the lives of 11 young adults spending the summer working, playing, and contemplating the respective turning points they're facing. There's Katie, who's working on the island for the summer to be around friends and to reassess her relationship with her longtime boyfriend. Lou is thrilled to reunite with his friend Katie, but will having her there complicate his efforts to find the girl of his dreams? Cat's working hard this summer in the hopes of saving enough money to leave the island, while Ben is returning to his home after an unexpected turn of events. Brought together by circumstance, these 11 young adults face personal challenges and are forced to reckon with new rivals and budding romances as the summer unfolds.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Vineyard takes a softer approach to reality-style voyeurism than does the likes of Jersey Shore, but it's clear from the get-go that it's not out to debunk any stereotypes either. Not surprisingly, every one of these Martha’s Vineyard-set cast members not only is gorgeous and, to some degree, privileged, but also knows how to work a camera, casting some doubt on the unscripted nature of show. Of course, the fact that the drama is so divisive so immediately also makes you wonder how much of the content has been manufactured.

None of what you'll see in this show should be a surprise, given that it revolves around the lifestyles and relationships of a group of red-blooded singletons in summer vacation mode. Casual flings, partying, ulterior motives, sabotage -- all have starring roles in this show's entertainment quality, and all are points of concern for impressionable teens. Ultimately The Vineyard adds its name to a long list of reality-style series that sensationalize human drama for sport and send questionable messages about positive body image by way of their homogeneous casts.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of series like this one. What entertainment value is there in watching other people's drama? Do you think this show really is unscripted? Why would the cast members agree to be part of a project like this?

  • Can you identify with the cast members' troubles? Do they deal with them in positive ways? Are any of them good behavioral role models? If so, why?

  • Teens: What, if any, harm can come from the media's gender, racial, or socioeconomic stereotypes? When we see these on TV, what assumptions do we make about other people? Is it reasonable to believe that we could eliminate stereotypes altogether?

TV details

Cast:Jackie Lyons, Katie Tardif, Luis D'Agostino
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Friendship
TV rating:TV-14

This review of The Vineyard was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byIcytayswoop July 31, 2013
 

Good show, but it's not for everyone....

I believe that it's a good show and its about stuff that in right now. It's summer and people wanna have fun, it's a good show but its not for everyone. It's not much of a story line, it's just these 11 people and the drama they go through durning summer. I personally like it but I'm not sure many people like shows like this.

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