What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that WILD GRINDERS was created by pro skater Rob Dyrdek and centers on the urban skateboarding culture as it's portrayed by a group of friends who hang out at a local skate lot and get into all sorts of adventures and mishaps around their hometown. The show perpetuates some stereotypes surrounding this culture, including baggy-style dress, urban slang, and a lack of parental supervision, but it also has good things to say about how the kids' love of this pastime transcends racial divides. Expect some mild slang and schoolyard-style talk ("He who smelt it dealt it," for instance) that you might not like your kids saying. It's also worth noting that the kids have free roam of the Internet, where they post videos of themselves doing tricks and having other kinds of fun, so be sure to talk with them about your family's rules about Internet use.
What's the story?
WILD GRINDERS is a semi-autobiographical cartoon created by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek that centers on skater kid Lil' Rob (voiced by Dyrdek) and his motley crew of friends and their escapades around their hometown of Sprawl City. Whether they're mastering moves at their favorite skate park, The Lot, or fending off the troubles brought on by neighborhood bully Stubford (Erin Fitzgerald), these kids are never short on adventure, and they find their greatest strength in a mutual love of skating and a common affection for each other.
Is it any good?
Immersed in the skating culture and set in the concrete jungle of a big city, Wild Grinders is inspired by Dyrdek's own experiences as a young skater and reflects the vast diversity among the avid hobbyists. The stories entice kids by embellishing an everyday endeavor like skating with wild spin, taking the kids to Internet fame or allowing them to practice their hobby in highly unusual places. The result is a fun and carefree show that doesn't exactly reflect most kids' concepts of reality but does have some good messages about friendship and respect nonetheless.
That said, this is a real know-your-kid situation. If your youngsters are easily influenced by what they see and hear on TV, then this might be one to pass over. The schoolyard-type setting encourages slang (no cursing, but some borderline choices like "That was sick!"), name-calling, and an array of phrases that you may not want to hear from your own kid. What's more, these street-wise kids often come across as disrespectful to grown-ups, and they have a knack for getting what they want from them, often by some fast talking or old-fashioned badgering. While it deserves some credit for reflecting some aspects of urban culture, these same qualities can have an undesirable effect on kids who don't know where to draw the line between what they see and what they do.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about stereotypes in the media. What racial or geographical stereotypes exist in this show? Do they expose viewers to different places and ways of life? Are there any negative effects of these characterizations?
Kids: What differences exist between the characters in this show and those in other shows you watch? How does a person's environment help shape who they are? What aspects of your home and life influence you the most?
What are your family's rules about posting stuff online?
What are some of your favorite hobbies? What do you learn from your involvement in these activities? Do they expose you to different groups of people you might otherwise not have known?