What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy series aimed at tweens -- starring Victoria Justice from Zoey 101 -- actively promotes its partner website called TheSlap.com – a social network that allows viewers to follow blogs from the characters, play games, and post comments. Not only is the site referenced numerous times throughout each episode (characters’ postings provide segues between scenes, for example), there are also direct appeals to viewers to visit the site. Parents should be prepared for tweens asking to go online after or during the show. That said, the remaining content is mostly tween-friendly – save for some lengthy kisses between one teen couple – and Tori is a decent role model, contrasting some of her classmates’ eccentricities with her self-confidence and adherence to her personal values.
What's the story?
Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) is used to living in the shadow of her older sister, Trina (Daniella Monet), a student at a prestigious performing arts school and a self-proclaimed star-in-training. But when an unexpected medical malady sends Tori onstage in her sister’s place, she dazzles the crowd and earns a spot at Hollywood Arts for herself. Being the new kid in school is never easy, but it’s even more of a task fitting in with the eclectic group of artists who now surround her. Lucky for Tori she’s got her supportive new friends Andre (Leon Thomas) and Beck (Avan Jogia), who have her back when class diva Jade (Elizabeth Gillies) takes aim at her.
Is it any good?
VICTORIOUS marks Victoria Justice’s rise from successful supporting roles in Zoey 101 and Spectacular! to the center stage, and like her TV counterpart, she proves she’s worthy of the promotion. Tweens will find much to like in this upbeat comedy – original music, dance, and plenty of mild teen drama – and the fact that Tori always emerges with unwavering self-assurance sends positive vibes to impressionable viewers.
The show’s glaring pitfall is its insistence on over-promoting its partner social networking website, TheSlap.com. A typical episode references the site at least five times – usually in the form of character updates like those on Facebook or Twitter – and winds up with a direct reminder to viewers to check out the site for show information or to post comments. At the very least, though, it gives parents good reason to talk with their tweens about Internet safety and the downsides of multitasking.
Families can talk about...
Families can discuss communicating through technology. Tweens: What social networking avenues do you use? How do they help you connect with friends? How has technology changed the way we relate to people? Are there any drawbacks to our technology-driven society? Also, what do you think the companies that have a financial stake in this show have to gain by asking viewers to log on to their website?
Tweens: What dangers exist with Internet sites like Facebook and Twitter? How do you ensure your safety on the Internet? What kinds of rules do you have in your house about using the Internet? How can the Internet be used as a tool against people? Have you ever known of an instance of cyberbullying?
Tweens: How do you face new challenges? Who are the people you lean on when you need support? How has conquering challenges changed you in the past?