A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids can view entire episodes of CW shows on this hub -- shows like Gossip Girl and Supernatural which are for older teens. And, despite the fact the site likely has mostly teen visitors, the CW channel doesn't view itself as a place for kids; the site cautions that its community is not for those under 13. That said, there are plenty of shows that are fine for kids. The CW Lounge message boards are monitored, and warn any inappropriate language will be removed, but some chatter walks the line of too-adult for teens, including a recent discussion on how disappointingly innocent a recent sex scene was. Also, users can send private messages to each other and create a buddy list to see when other users are online.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CWTV.COM is fan central for shows like Beauty and the Geek, America's Next Top Model, and the teen hit Gossip Girl. And, as such, the site has all the typical show hype: show cast photos, upcoming episode teasers, videos of cast interviews, full episodes, and behind-the-scenes outtakes. The site has other show activities: You can select an avatar based on a show character, and Gossip Girl fans 18 and over can enter a virtual version of the show's Upper East Side locale and feel like they're part of the action. Younger fans can opt for a free online match game using cast member pics.
Is it any good?
Although there's a lot of fun stuff on CWTV.com, it's also sales central-- apparently, the TV ads during the shows just weren't enough. The site takes fan frenzy to another level, giving users access not only to show info, but to a bevy of show-related shopping. Users can purchase wallpaper designs and ringtones featuring spoken samples from CW shows. One link for a Gossip Girl style section leads users to an online commercial for Victoria's Secret. The site's music section -- although cool -- is a particularly detailed online store, linking to songs from CW shows and allowing users to preview and buy entire albums by the artists. Users can mix their own promotional show videos in the CW Lab using clips from various shows, which the channel says it might air -- meaning the CW has not only found a way to get users to watch its ads, but to also create them!
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which TV shows are appropriate for kids to watch and which ones aren't? What themes make a show good for all ages? What storylines should be reserved only for older teens and adults? Families can also go over what kind of information is unsafe to give out online. What kind isn't?