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My Life with the Walter Boys

My Life with the Walter Boys season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Tsiao

TV Series Review

Jackie’s life has been turned completely upside-down.

After her parents and sister die in a tragic car accident, she’s sent to live with her mom’s best friend from college, Katherine Walter.

It’s not that the Walters aren’t nice people. But the transition forces Jackie to trade New York’s skyscrapers for a Colorado ranch, her all-girls private school for a football-obsessed public school.

Jackie’s mom was a respected fashion designer, and her dad went to Princeton. Her whole life, she’s been taught to seek excellence in everything she does. But the Walters’ seven boys (plus their tomboy daughter and two nephews) aren’t really concerned with good grades. And let’s face it, Ralph Lauren didn’t exactly design a line for mucking stalls.

But this is what Jackie’s mom wanted. And Jackie is determined to honor her family however she can.

Raging Hormones

My Life With the Walter Boys, based on the book by Ali Novak, is a coming-of-age tale filled with romance, drama and enough teen angst to give you flashbacks to your own high school days.

Katherine and her husband, George, are kind but also a bit naïve about their children’s relationships. Eldest son Will and his live-in fiancée can’t quite agree on their future. Teenage Nathan struggles with a crush on another boy. And Jackie quickly becomes the subject of a feud between two of their other sons, Cole and Alex.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the teen brothers have argued over a love interest. Cole earned his younger brother’s ire the year prior when he kissed Alex’s then-girlfriend. He also has a bit of a reputation at school for having sex with lots of girls. (And Mr. and Mrs. Walter are none too pleased when they discover those rumors are true, as well as learning that Cole’s younger siblings have been covering for him.) Most of this salaciousness is kept offscreen, but we still see a fair bit of PDA between teen couples (including same-sex couples), and sex is a frequent topic of gossip at the high school.

And when the raging hormones become too much, the boys sometimes resort to rage, resulting in fistfights and yelling matches. Occasional profanity rears its ugly head, too. And don’t even get me started on rumor-spreading mean girls.

Ultimately, we’re dealing with the story of a girl learning to live again after facing incredible loss. But the nonstop teen drama here often overshadows that theme, stealing the heart of the show like a terrible ex-boyfriend.

Episode Reviews

Dec. 7, 2023 – S1, E1: “Welcome to Colorado”

After the loss of her family, Jackie moves from New York to Colorado to live with her new guardians, the Walters. It’s a big transition, especially since her guardians have ten kids already living there.

Teen couples make out. Many teens gossip about which of their classmates have had sex. The camera slows down dramatically, focusing on a teen boy as he climbs out of a pool. We hear the eldest Walter boy lives with his fiancée. Teen girls wear belly-baring tops to school. An adult woman wears a dress showing cleavage. Girls fawn over boys at football practice. A male character acts slightly effeminate (and it’s later revealed he’s gay).

Cole Walter toys with Jackie’s emotions, being rude one moment and flirting with her the next. His jealous on-again, off-again girlfriend, Erin, tells Jackie off even though Jackie hasn’t expressed interest in the boy. (And she crosses a line, calling Jackie “little orphan Annie” in reference to Jackie’s recent loss.) And his younger brother, Alex, storms off when he sees this since he has a crush on Jackie himself.

Teenagers gossip and act mean to each other. (Jackie expresses regret after she embarrasses Cole’s girlfriend.) Some characters play an online video game where their avatars kill monsters. A husband appears to be hiding his family’s poor financial situation from his wife.

God’s name is abused a handful of times. We also hear the beginning of the s-word twice (both are interrupted before they can be completed), and a use of “h—.”

The high school’s guidance counselor expresses concern for Jackie since she’s buried herself in schoolwork and extracurriculars since the deaths of her family. Jackie explains that her friends in New York didn’t know how to comfort her and wound up abandoning her in their confusion. And the counselor advises Jackie to be easier on herself.

Katherine Walter is incredibly kind to Jackie, telling her how much she resembles her mother in looks and spirit. Her sons, barring Cole’s behavior and a few harmless pranks, are also nice, showing her where her classes are, standing up for her in class and even inviting her to sit with them at lunch.

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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