Wait 'Til Next Year

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wait 'Til Next Year TV Poster Image
Teen drama plays out in football-themed reality show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages include the value of teamwork, pushing yourself to do better, fighting for victory despite the odds, accepting yourself for who you are, and more. But the show is also voyeuristic in its window onto the lives of regular high schoolers struggling with acceptance, family problems, drug and criminal activity, sexuality, relationships, body image, and more.

Positive Role Models & Representations

These are regular kids (though many are more photogenic than average) who make all sorts of mistakes -- from mild to serious. The cast is from a range of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.


There are scenes of what some will consider hazing, including taking pictures of players in their underwear and threatening to make them viral and using a teammate as a target when throwing footballs. Injuries from cheering are discussed. Adjectives like "savage" are used to describe good football teams.


Teen couples -- both gay and straight -- date, kiss, and talk about sexual activity, including losing one's virginity. Teen boys take their shirts off in locker rooms; players grab their crotches. Girls wear bikinis; during one event they dance suggestively around poles in a limousine.


Words like "damn," "piss," and "ass" audible; curses like "f--k" bleeped.


CoverGirl is a show sponsor. Logos for 7Up, Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Cheetos, HP computers, Ford SUVs, and other items visible. Labels for Abercrombie, Under Armour, and others clothing lines are also shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One player discusses being incarcerated for selling marijuana at school; another has a parent who gets high.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wait 'Til Next Year is an MTV docuseries featuring lots of football-related activities and some edgy, teen-oriented reality. Some of the team's activities (like using a teammate as a target for ball practice) can be considered hazing (though no one seriously gets injured). The language can get strong ("piss," "ass," "damn"; "f--k" bleeped), and there's lots of kissing between both gay and straight couples, some suggestive dancing, and references to losing one's virginity. A few story lines include drugs; a teen is arrested for selling pot, and there's a parent who gets high. CoverGirl is a sponsor of the show, and lots of brands make appearances.

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What's the story?

WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR is a reality series featuring the Lincoln Park Railsplitters, a Michigan high school football team that has the distinction of losing 43 games in a row over a five-year period. Adding to their luck is the fact that their football stadium is now condemned and being torn down. But this team, including quarterback Naeem, fullback Ed, and players like Tyler, Cody, Christian, and Dakota, are determined to break their losing streak with the help of Jim Kalbfleisch, aka Coach Kalby, who has left retirement to whip them into shape. Meanwhile, cheerleaders like Amanda, Samantha, Danielle, and Ashley are determined to perfect the squad to build the team's morale. They're all also working hard to improve their game off the field as they work out their various relationship issues.

Is it any good?

Wait 'Til Next Year offers a voyeuristic and somewhat humorous look at an awkward football team that wants to rise from holding the record for the longest losing streak in Michigan history to being triumphant winners. In-between the drama on the field is some expected reality fare, including broken hearts, love triangles, and other relationship issues. Traditions in high school football culture also are highlighted.

Young football fans and reality viewers will be drawn to the likable group. But, although the show is more entertaining than uplifting, some of the narratives also touch on a few of the very serious problems these kids face in their home lives. In the end, it shows how their efforts to win aren't just about the game but are an attempt to prove to themselves that they have the power to overcome even those situations that seem hopeless.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about high school football culture in the United States. Why is having a strong football team so important for people? Is football important at your school? Does your school have any special football traditions?

  • How realistic is the action you see here? Do you think the things these kids do or the way they treat each other in front of the camera are how they really act on their own time?

  • Why do you think this team has its own reality show? Is it because they're known for their losing streak, or is it because they're trying to do something about it? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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