A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Words like "damn," "piss," and "ass" audible; curses like "f--k" bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
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.