A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is a resurrected version of the old WB TV network, which has been off the air since 2006. You can watch full-length episodes of WB favorites here, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The O.C., and Friends re-runs, and depending on the show, can have some sex, violence, drug use, drinking, and bad behavior. Besides the old shows and some new series made just for this site, the big attraction is that users can play with the shows' scenes in the WBlender, editing them and sending them to friends, or watching them from afar via Facebook.
What's it about?
Fans of campy series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, or Smallville will rejoice at the news that THEWB.COM has brought many of its old shows back to life on the Internet. Fans can search multiple categories and watch full-length episodes of favorite past shows. There are also plans for some new shows scheduled to start rolling out on the site this fall with a sorority-based mystery series. TheWB.com has added new series-related games (like Friends hangman), WB celebrity news (via TMZ.com), and ways to make connections with other WB fans via Facebook.
Is it any good?
Since it's still in the beta version, there are a few features that are currently limited or "coming soon," and some bugs to work out. In one section, it says the network is targeting the 16-34 demographic, but in another section it indicates users are supposed to be 18 and up. The coolest feature on this site is the ability for users to create video clips out of the series' content, like mashing all of Joey's "How you doin'?" quotes from Friends into one long series of scenes. Without a doubt, Warner Bros. has found a hip way to re-package old material and create new stuff for today's Internet-centric audience in TheWB.com. Whether that material is worth the time to watch it on a laptop or iPod will be up to the viewer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much screen time is allowed in your home. Whether your teen is watching re-runs on a TV or on a computer screen, it's still passive entertainment. How much is too much? Does mixing and matching favorite scenes from episodes of The O.C. and sending them to friends on Facebook count as a creative use of time? Should it be considered educational? Why or why not?
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