Tower Prep

Common Sense Media says

Tense thriller has surprisingly good messages for teens.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie touches on themes teens will relate to like individuality and anti-conformity. To win their freedom, teens must band together and outsmart a powerful establishment, not to mention overcome extreme physical obstacles. The story also highlights (albeit in an exaggerated scenario) teens’ desires to fit into a group, and the social pitfalls of resisting the urge. Students often use their special talents to trick or mislead their peers and teachers, but in the case of Ian and his friends, it’s usually part of their escape plan.

Positive role models

Parents are absent throughout the show, and the Tower Prep teachers are fully immersed in “The Program,” so their allegiance is to the school rather than to the teens. Ian and his friends are a well-meaning group, though, and Ian in particular is altruistic to the core, often putting himself in harm’s way for the sake of someone in need.

Violence

Mostly fistfights and martial arts-style exchanges that usually don’t result in visible injury. Violence takes a backseat to the suspense and peril in the show, though, which is prevalent throughout. Teens are pursued in the woods by unidentified security personnel, who engage them in fistfights.

Sex

In one scene, three teens are shown without their shirts -- and said to be naked, though that’s not shown.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tower Prep is action thriller series meant for teens, and many of the suspenseful and tense scenes will likely frighten younger kids and even sensitive tweens. Violence is mostly limited to martial arts-style exchanges, but the constant sense of peril ensures the series is for older viewers who can separate fantasy and reality. The show touches on a number of themes that will resonate with modern teens, including the desire to identify individual talents, struggles with authority, and the strength to be found in friendship inspired by a shared mission.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Ian Archer (Drew Van Acker) is no stranger to trouble, and his latest stunt -- treating a class bully to a taste of his own medicine -- earns him a suspension from school and the wrath of his parents. When the dust settles, Ian wakes up in a mysterious boarding school called TOWER PREP, with no recollection of how he got there and no connection to the outside world. The school claims to be a haven for diversely gifted teens like Ian, who has a knack for seeing things just before they happen, but he’s convinced there’s something more to it. Raising a ruckus on his first day introduces Ian to classmates C.J. (Elise Gatien), Gabe (Ryan Pinkston), and Suki (Dyana Liu), who have their own plans for escaping the school, so the four band together to hatch a plan to discover the truth behind Tower Prep.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mystery, suspense, and thrills join forces to create this enticing action series that deserves to get teens’ attention. There’s a little something here for everyone, from empowering sentiments about determination to the power of free will. Although the characters’ scenario is pretty extreme (not many teens can actually relate to being sent away to an off-the-grid forced boarding school), the underlying themes of isolation, trust, and the desire to assimilate while staying true to individuality are relatable issues for many teens.

Content-wise there’s little here to keep parents from giving teens the go-ahead, though the show is so well constructed it might just entice those same parents to tune in along with them. Need another reason to like it? Amazingly there’s nary a hint of sexual agenda among the coed cast.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about authority. Who are the authority figures and role models in your life? How do they earn your respect? Do you feel like you can trust them? Why or why not?

  • Teens: How much pressure do you feel to fit in among your friends and peers? What are some of your traits that set you apart from the people around you? Do you like these differences? Do your friends respect them? Do you respect others’ differences?

  • What are some of the causes you’re most passionate about? What (if any) are the limits to your dedication to these causes? How do these issues affect you personally?

TV details

Cast:Drew Van Acker, Elise Gatien, Ryan Pinkston
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Tower Prep was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old December 31, 2010
Teen, 16 years old Written byrickya22 December 26, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

good show

Not really violent compared to other stuff. Definitely shows how much friends support you in tough situations. My only concern would be if kids began thinking that getting sent to a school like that could be real.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byKforKitty101 November 4, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Why? Just-why?

WHY CN? I thought you learned your lesson with Out Of Jimmy's Butthole, but noooo. MORE LIVE-ACTION! ARGH

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