Westside

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Westside TV Poster Image
So-so music reality show has edgy content, risky behavior.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The musicians are all hard-working and committed to their craft. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The singers are from diverse walks of life. Not everyone is easy to get along with. 

Violence

Lots of arguing, which often leads to yelling and slammed doors. Videos feature chairs being thrown out of anger. 

Sex

Strong innuendo. Condoms visible. 

Language

Endless cursing; the word "f--k" is particularly popular. 

Consumerism

Trojan logo prominently shown in some scenes. Starbucks cups, Apple iPhone partially visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking (beer, wine, etc.) and cigarette smoking. Pot smoking and cocaine use also visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Westside is a Netflix unscripted series featuring up-and-coming singers trying to break into the industry. Mature content includes lots of cursing ("f--k," "s--t") and lots of drinking and smoking (both tobacco and pot). Cocaine use is also shown. Music videos featuring the cast's music are shown throughout and are available for purchase. 

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What's the story?

WESTSIDE is a Netflix unscripted series featuring a group of creative singers and musicians trying to break into the business. Singer and producer Sean Patrick Murray pulls popular American Idol contestant Pia Toscano, Las Vegas performer Caitlin Ary, Taz Tavala, Alexandra Kay, former child actress Arika Gluck, and Leo Gallo, who was a contestant on The Voice, to work together to produce a live show at the famous club 10ak in Los Angeles. Also joining the group are Austin Kolbe, a young, self-confident pop singer who breaks all the rules, and James, a soulful rock-and-roll singer who is struggling with his own demons. They're all under pressure to make the show a success, and thanks to the mix of creative talent, styles, and ages, conflicts inevitably arise.

Is it any good?

This convoluted reality series attempts to show the highs and lows of breaking into the music industry while highlighting the talents of the cast. However, the show feels disjointed, as key moments or dramatic pauses transition into full-length, highly produced music videos featuring one or more of the singers. Because this happens multiple times in a single episode, it's hard to settle into the overall story. 

While the singing performances are colorful, and the performers edgy, most of the conversations between the cast are either boring or over-the-top dramatic as the singers mull over difficult childhoods, worry about failed careers, or argue with each other. It's possible that reality TV fans or music aficionados may find some entertainment value in the series, but Westside doesn't really deliver. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Parents can talk about why it is so hard to break into the music business. Why isn't being talented and creative enough to be a successful singer? 

  • What kind of messages does Westside send about the entertainment industry and the people in it? Do you think it has to show risky behaviors in order to get those messages across?

TV details

For kids who love music

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