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 this series centers on a fashion-savvy teen who stumbles into a high-powered job at a major (though fictitious) fashion label and immediately upstages a group of jealous adult co-workers. While the show's target tween audience can probably distinguish the show's fantastical nature from reality, it still oversimplifies the true nature of the workplace and sends some so-so messages about respecting others' experience and expertise. That said, the series' heroine is a bright, creative, self-confident teen who speaks her mind and doesn't let anyone's assumptions about her stand in the way of achieving her dreams.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In TRUE JACKSON, VP, a chance encounter turns into the opportunity of a lifetime for teen fashionista True Jackson (Keke Palmer of Akeelah and the Bee) when style exec Max (Greg Proops) names her the new vice president of youth apparel at his fashion label. But as thrilled as she is about the unexpected chance at her dream job, it's not long before True realizes that workplace relationships can be just as complicated as high school ones. She'll need plenty of spunk and creativity -- and a little help from her friends Lulu (Ashley Argota) and Ryan (Matt Shively) -- if she wants to prove her worth to her contemptuous adult co-workers.
Is it any good?
Tween girls will get a kick out of this series' highly fantasized view of the adult world, but it does have a few iffy messages about the workplace and interpersonal relationships. Despite their age, True's immature adult co-workers gang up to exclude her and often gossip about her behind her back. And her boss, Max, is portrayed as eccentric and prone to impulsive decision-making. The adults' shortcomings make True emerge as the solitary level head in the professional bunch -- which is fun for kids' imaginations but also calls for a reality check about appropriate adult behavior in the real world.
Palmer's performance as the unabashed, self-confident True stands out as a bright spot. True meets challenges of all kinds with gusto and never allows others' misconceptions of her to alter how she views herself. If your tweens do tune in, they may be more inspired by her character's positive personality traits than questionably affected by her unlikely position at work, but have that reality check speech ready just in case.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media portrays responsible adult behavior. How would you characterize the actions of the adults in this show? Are any of them less mature than others? How do you think their actions would be tolerated in a real work environment?
Kids: Can you relate any of True's issues with her co-workers to issues you have with acquaintances your own age? How do you handle interpersonal problems at school?
Have you ever been the victim of bullying? How does it feel? Why do you think people bully or intimidate others?
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