Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that while producer Aaron Spelling's soapy 1990s teen melodrama was about as realistic in its depiction of everyday teen life as The Brady Bunch was back in the '70s, it did address some serious topics, including alcoholism, drug abuse, premarital sex, gambling, teen pregnancy, and teen suicide. Characters are constantly coping with the dramatic ups and downs of their friendships and romantic relationships. Many of them are wealthy, and few have strong or even positive relationships with their parents. Parents may want to preview before allowing young tweens and young teens to watch.
Frequent scenes of teens kissing and "making out." Frequent references to sexual activity. Discussions about teen pregnancy and sex are also featured, including discussions about virginity (particularly Donna's) and unexpected pregnancy (Andrea's). The episode in which Dylan and Brenda had sex for the first time was a big deal when it first aired.
Some of the plotlines feature characters surviving violent crime, including physical abuse, shooting, and rape. A character is murdered in a later season.
Pretty mild: "Damn," "hell," "bitch," etc.
This series presents an unrealistic portrayal of teenagers, but it deals with the very real issues that teens face. Themes also include disparities between socioeconomic classes. The consequences of negative behaviors are sometimes not always discussed (or shown).
Many (but not all) of the characters are presented as wealthy, materialistic members of the upscale Beverly Hills community.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Teen cigarette use (accompanied by a clear discussion of their consequences). Alcohol and drug abuse (including steroids) are shown to have clear negative consequences. But the underage characters still do plenty of drinking outside the context of abuse.