Horsey teen soap with life lessons.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many characters are overcoming checkered pasts and learning to make responsible choices.


Threats by thugs are all verbal; main characters have car theft, battery, arson in their pasts.


Smooching and melodramatic relationships; nothing graphic.


Occasional use of words like "bitch," "hell," and "damn."


Music is marketed during the end credits and is for sale via the show's Web site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some characters own a nightclub, some drink socially.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this teen drama's themes revolve around adhering to personal values in the face of temptation, threats, and adversity. Some adults occasionally behave inappropriately and even illegally, but others are involved parents who think deeply about what people need to reach their best potential. The music from each episode is marketed at the end of the show and via the show's Web site. This could be a draw for many teens, but it might give some parents pause.

What's the story?

In WILDFIRE, racehorse Wildfire and 18-year-old Kris Fuillo (Genevieve Cortese) are on the same path -- each of them has a troubled past, and now they're both reaching for the best in themselves. Kris' story started in juvenile hall, where she was doing time for stealing cars, until her talent with horses, especially the problematic Wildfire, got Kris placed with the Ritters, a family steeped in the world of Thoroughbred racing. Kris becomes Wildfire's jockey, and Wildfire turns out to be the Ritter family's best chance at saving the family-run ranch. Kris is so diligent about reaching for integrity and acting responsibly, but when she's confused, she turns to Jean Ritter (Nana Visitor), the stalwart single mom at the head of the Ritter family. Matt (Micah Alberti) and Todd (Andrew Hoeft) are Jean's sons; Pablo Betart (Greg Serano) trains the family's stable of racehorses. Kris' arch foe in love and horse racing is Dani (Nicole Tubiola), whose villainy is often tinged with her own struggle to be a better person.

Is it any good?


Unlike in The O.C., the melodramatic relationships and frequent smooching in Wildfire are tied together by a storyline that includes many lessons for teens. The themes here -- that everyone desrves another chance, that risk can have reward, that we are not defined by our pasts, and that family and friends pulling together can make a great difference -- definitely make Wildfire worth watching.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about redemption and how people overcome their pasts. How do people learn from their own mistakes and the mistakes of others? How would a person know that someone is a candidate for friendship (even if he or she has been in serious trouble in the past)? What's at risk for Kris? Why does she work so hard to get ahead when so much has been stacked against her? What behaviors show us that a person deserves our loyalty? Also, what makes a family? Is Kris part of Jean's family? Is Pablo? How does the way Dani's father treats her compare to the way Jean treats her family? What kinds of futures are all these characters building for themselves and each other?

TV details

Cast:Genevieve Cortese, Greg Serano, Micah Alberti, Nana Visitor, Nicole Tubiola
Network:ABC Family
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Wildfire 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.


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

  • A coming-of-age drama that's great for teen girls.

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

Adult Written bymom4Christ April 9, 2008

Do we want our kids acting this way?

My family are lovers of horses. When my kids were young we all read "Pony Pals" When this show first aired, we were all excited, however it became apparent that this was not a show for teenagers. What with all the sex between two boys and one girl, the crude language, and the blatant disrespect of adult supervision, this is not something I want my children to be exposed to. How long will America put up with shows that are not wholesome. Even a few foul words are not ok, we can send a message out there to not let the network pick this show up for another season, and each season, the characters get a little more racier.
Adult Written byDocter14 April 9, 2008

some episodes have great life lessons.

I have watched wildfire, some episodes have great life lessons. Great drama I think its the perfect drama for teens to watch if they wish.
Teen, 15 years old Written byHeart_d April 9, 2008

The Best

I love this show! It is the best. If anything about it there is some drinking in it and kissing but not to much more. I think it is okay for people my age. Also it teaches you good life lessons and is a great show for horse lovers! :~)


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

Special Needs Guide