Wonderwall

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
Wonderwall Website Poster Image
Celeb gossip served up in cool design goes easy on snark.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The site focuses on celebrity and beauty -- there's not much substance here. Although it's less rude than many gossip sites, Wonderwall sometimes gets snarky: "Too bad this trip to Mexico left [Kim Kardashian] burnt like a fried Cheeto in the sun."

Violence
Sex

Some mild sexual content: "revealing photos of sexy stars at the beach," mentions of Britney Spears requesting a stripper pole in her hotel room, discussions of infidelity.

Language

Hell and crap are used; stronger words (in celebrity quotes) are censored.

Consumerism

Some of the ads masquerade as content -- one ad for a "new miracle anti-aging pill" is labeled as a "featured story," for example. The editorial content often drops names of brands and products. Most of the videos play ads before the content begins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There's some coverage of stars' drunken mishaps: "George Clooney reportedly had a few too many vodka and Patrons in Miami and ended up blowing chunks all over the VIP area." Celebs smoke cigarettes in some photos.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gossip site from MSN falls somewhere in between "naughty" and "nice." The copy can be a bit snarky at times, and there's coverage of stars' bad behavior, but it isn't nearly as rude and crude as TMZ. There's no commenting feature or other interactive elements.

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What's it about?

A new addition to the MSN portal, WONDERWALL joins the ever-expanding ranks of celebrity gossip hubs, mixing original content with coverage from sources like Entertainment Tonight and the Associated Press. The site features photo galleries, videos, and blog-style recaps of the latest in entertainment news, ranging from squeaky-clean American Idol coverage to slightly salacious stories about stars and their stripper poles.

Is it any good?

Aside from a fairly innovative design -- a horizontal scroll of hyperlinked photos -- Wonderwall doesn't break any new ground. The site's a fun, light read, but some of the content is just filler, like the 30-second "My Life As a Covergirl" videos, which are essentially commercials. Also, teens might find the site a bit one-dimensional since there are no social features like comments or message boards. Fans looking for more in-depth entertainment coverage will fare better on MSN's movies, music, and TV outlets.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about our obsession with celebrities. Why do you think people care so much about stars' private lives? What information is OK to report and what should be off limits? Do you think celebrities who appeal to kids and teens have a responsibility to be role models? See our tips on talking about Celebrity Role Models.

Website details

  • Genre: Blogging
  • Pricing structure: Free

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