Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Live Life and Win!

Live Life and Win!

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Rating: TV PG

This half-hour TV magazine premiered on Fox in the fall of 2011. According to the show's website, "[teen] television is mostly reality TV that focuses on hooking up and getting beat down." Live Life and Win! is intended to be a positive alternative, promoting civic and social responsibility, leadership, volunteerism, and academic achievement.

Each episode features teens who inspire others with their perseverance and positive attitudes. As the earnest teen hosts tell us at the top of each show, the stories are meant to show young people how a strong work ethic and solid character will help them "live live and win." But "winning" isn't strictly defined as finishing first in a race or beating everyone else at the geography bee. It's about the triumph of the human spirit.

One segment features a 14-year-old golf phenom . . . who also happens to be blind. He lost both eyes to cancer but instead of giving up, he continued with the sport he loved and started traveling the country to give motivational speeches. Another segment features 17-year-old sailor Abby Sunderland, the teen who attempted to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. When a rogue wave crashed her boat and left her injured and stranded 2,000 miles from the closest land, Abby explained how she stayed mentally strong and positive for nearly two days as she awaited rescuers.

This program relies on the strength of its subject matter rather than flashy quick-cut edits, distracting graphics and blaring music a la MTV. One of the program's most gratifying byproducts is the huge sense of relief parents will feel knowing not every teen in the country aspires to be the next Snookie of Jersey Shore fame.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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