Washington Heights

 
(i)

 

Quasi-reality show follows attractive NYC-dweller dramas.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

 

Positive role models

Another has a criminal past, but is trying to build a better future.

Violence

Fights sometimes break out between cast members, leading to slapping, hair pulling, punching, and attempts at slamming people's heads into the cement (but no blood is visible). One cast member's father is in prison.

Sex

Endless conversations about romantic drama, plus some kissing, caressing. Sexually oriented conversations are frequent, including comments like "jump his bones."

Language

Words like "ass," "bitch" and "damn" are audible and frequent; "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped when spoken by the cast, but can be heard in songs played in the background.

Consumerism

Apple computers and Toyota Corollas are visible. Facebook and other social media are discussed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Hard alcohol, beer, cocktails are consumed at bars, parties, and during street celebrations (in bottles wrapped in paper bags). A cast member served jail time for drug-related crimes. Cigarette smoking is visible.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that like Jersey Shore, Washington Heights is an MTV reality series that features verbal and physical fights, lots of salty language, and some sexual conversations while it follows a specific subculture of young people. Drinking and smoking are part of everyday life, as well as references to jail and drug-related criminal charges. Aside from the focus on interpersonal drama, there are some positive elements, as people try to steer their lives in positive ways.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS is a reality series featuring a tight-knit group of young twentysomethings in the New York neighborhood they grew up in. The series features J.P. (a.k.a. Audubon), an up-and-coming hip-hop singer (who also narrates the series), Jimmy, an aspiring baseball player, and his girlfriend Eliza. Also part of the group is the slam-poetry loving Frankie, the hot-tempered Reyna, and Taylor, who stands out as the the only non-Latina member of the group. Rounding out the crew is the artistic Ludwin, the fun-loving but rather unfocused Rico, and his younger brother Fred, who is an aspiring fashion designer. From performing at local venues and figuring out their careers, to fighting over boyfriends and visiting incarcerated parents, the show highlights some of the highs and lows of growing up and living in the iconic uptown neighborhood.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Washington Heights highlights the trials and tribulations of a group of adults who grew up together, and still love their tight-knit Manhattan neighborhood. Folks may get to see glimpses of what the community is like, but most of the series is dedicated to the cast members talking about each other.

While milder than Jersey Shore, it uses the same voyeuristic style featured in reality shows like The Hills and Teen Mom, which relies on lots of exaggerated glares, close ups, and other tricks to create drama. As a result, you get the sense that conflict is being specifically created (and exaggerated) to give viewers a reason to watch. Even if you can get past this, the overall show is pretty lackluster.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Washington Heights. Did you know that it was named after a fort used in that area to protect Manhattan Island from the British during the American Revolution? How has this community changed over the last few centuries? Why does this neighborhood remain iconic today?

  • How real do you think this reality series is? Do you think the cast acts the same way when the cameras are off? Can people really learn anything about this neighborhood by watching this show? Why or why not?

  • Do you think most people in this neighborhood are as attractive as the ones featured on this show? How do you think they selected people to appear on the show? What qualities do you think they were looking for?

TV details

Cast:J.P. Perez, Reyna Saldana, Taylor Howell
Network:MTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Washington Heights was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Gritty -- but provoking -- reality show.
  • Goal-oriented reality TV with a happy ending.
  • Glee-inspired reality contest is inclusive and inspiring.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass