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 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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?