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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In one scene, three teens are shown without their shirts -- and said to be naked, though that’s not shown.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.