Youth & Consequences

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Youth & Consequences TV Poster Image
Drinking, bullying, gossip in glossy high school drama.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Students at a high school are divided up into groups: stoners, hipsters, comicons (students who enjoy comic books), ligbits (LGBTQ students), "retards and wheelies" (disabled students), etc. Popular students treat others with contempt, sending messages of exclusion and cruelty. Adults are more or less absent from the lives of teens. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character Farrah is scheming and cruel, like in one scene where she tells a friend she’s doing a student "a favor by recognizing his existence." Her posse of girlfriends is concerned mainly with popularity and power, not friendship. Colin is a less-popular student who exposes others to judgment by spreading vicious gossip on the school social media site. 

Violence

Violence is mostly offscreen and may be used as the subject of mocking humor, like when a guidance counselor is found dead from hanging in his office. Students use the office as a secret meeting place, talk endlessly of the death, and speculate that it may have been caused by autoerotic asphyxiation. 

Sex

Jokes and dialogue mention sex, like when a student with the last name Moorehead is teased about oral sex; a boy jokes that a backpack is a "ball sack," a young woman refers to a "three-way." Two secret compatriots shower together when exchanging gossip; a girl refers to this as throwing the boy "a bone." Teens gossip that a teacher's death by hanging was caused by autoerotic asphyxiation. 

Language

Cursing and vulgar language: "hell," "s--t," a girl calls her female friends "bitches" affectionately, "suck," "pissed," "pr--k," "f-g," "retards."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink with no consequences, like when a student attempting to win a school election gives out vodka concealed in water bottles. A character named Hook is said to be the "school hookup" (i.e., sells drugs). 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Youth & Consequences is a series about powerful and cruel cliques at a high school. These students treat each other terribly: They mock each other's looks, sexuality, and social standing; they play pranks and spread life-ruining gossip on the school social media site. Stereotypes abound, with teens called things like "the curries" (Indian students), the "ligbits" (LGBTQ students), the "retards and wheelies" (disabled students). Violence includes the death by hanging of a teacher, and characters wonder if it was a suicide or autoerotic asphyxiation. Sexual content includes jokes about a "three-way" and oral sex, and two teens shower together to share juicy gossip without being overheard. Language includes "hell," "s--t," "bitches," "suck," "pissed," "pr--k," and "f-g." Teens drink routinely, like when one character tries to win student council votes by giving away vodka in water bottles. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byWendy C. April 23, 2018

Amazing. Can't wait for Season 2, highly recommended for knowledgeable teens! Some education value.

Great messages: Important and uncommonly expressed social message. Related to identity. Protecting the safety and respecting the rights of a character who like... Continue reading
Adult Written byJustHere July 10, 2018

Amazing

I binged the whole season in a day. Stayed up till 5 in the morning watching it. I am literally choked up with the end. Amazing show that should be more well kn... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCorruption_86 April 1, 2018

It's a great show! But you have to know your kid.

It is a really great show, but there are some sexual undertones that may leave younger/less mature viewers asking questions. That is to say, there is no actual... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byEvra June 30, 2018

What's the story?

In the YouTube Red series YOUTH & CONSEQUENCES, Farrah (Anna Akana) is the queen of her high school and the undisputed leader of her mean-girl posse: outwardly confident Jayne (Kara Royster), self-effacing Jane (Sophie Reynolds), and easygoing Grace (Piper Curda). But when a student council election upends Farrah's tidy power structure and a secret partnership with school gossip columnist Colin (Sean Grandillo) starts going off the rails, it's going to take all her dark machinations to regain her seat at the head of the table. 

Is it any good?

Circling around a power-hungry school clique, this teen dramedy is intriguing, mean-spirited, and entertaining all at once. "High school is a great big buzzsaw that grinds people up into little pieces -- some people are just a little better at hiding the damage," says calculating teen-queen Farrah (Anna Akana, terrific) in the voice-over that draws us into the action. She's certainly good at hiding her secrets -- and holding power over other students. A school election (shades of Election) is the crux of her current concerns, as she and her clique (shades of Heathers and Mean Girls) plot to throw a student council vote, and use the school's social media page, known as C-rotch, (shades of Gossip Girl) to spread vicious election-affecting scuttlebutt.

Don't get her wrong -- it's not that Farrah cares who leads the school. Her interest is instead in using secrets and insider info to bend the other students to her will. There's only one student who can stand in her way: C-rotch editor Colin, whose crush on Farrah keeps him trotting to her tune. But when Farrah's latest patsy suddenly threatens to upend the school's dynamics, Farrah may not be able to hold on to her power for long. The unkindness and less-than-positive messages may convince parents to keep this one on the do-not-watch list. But as a sort of dark high school-set Dangerous Liaisons, Youth & Consequences hits the mark and may soon make converts of new viewers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotyping. What instances of stereotyping exist in Youth & Consequences? Do the characters reflect the groups you see among your peers? To what degree is stereotyping necessary for the comedy to be effective? Does it interfere with your connection to a character? 

  • Can you think of other high school dramas? Why are schools such popular settings? What dramatic or comedic possibilities do they hold? How does this high school-set drama stack up to others you have seen? 

  • Use this show to begin a discussion about the way that adolescents can treat each other, and the actions they can take to encourage each other to be kinder and more supportive. Do you know anyone who acts like the teens in this movie? Would you want to? 

TV details

For kids who love teen TV

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