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What to know: This Netflix series from Israel is is highly suitable for tweens and teens.
GREENHOUSE ACADEMY is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-14
25 minutes
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My first experience with Greenhouse Academy was a bit confusing as I viewed a later episode of it. However, after seeing the first episode I am now much more at ease with the show. This episode introduces siblings Alex and Hayley who recently lost their mother in an accident. Alex applies at Greenhouse Academy, a special school that only allows a select few into one of its two houses - the Ravens and the Eagles. One favors physical achievement and the other favors academics. However, the ending of this episode suggests that there might be more to this story and the mother's accident than meets the eye. The characters are believable, although not remarkable. They are typical of teens that we have seen in other shows and they are all likable in their own way. The talent includes Ariel Mortman, Finn Roberts and Parker Stevenson who star in this series.

The pace is good. It is well produced with good visuals, sound and cinematography. The storyline is a bit cheesy, but I am hoping that there will be an interesting rivalry develop between the two houses, similar to what happens in Harry Potter houses. We will have to see how that all rolls out. I recommend Greenhouse Academy for ages 10 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It makes a great addition to any film festival looking for programming for tweens and teens. Reviewed by Angel U., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Greenhouse Academy is a Netflix series from Israel that is geared for a teen and perhaps tween audience. In watching this episode, one feels as if you missed something by not seeing earlier episodes. There are references to past events that we're not privy to. One of the writers, Paula Yoo, is known for her work on West Wing, one of my all time favorite TV shows and I feel the writing is spot on in terms of its believability. This show plays out similar to other tween/teen shows such as Degrassi and Tower Prep. However, it was hard to get invested in the characters because they aren't really introduced in this episode, which clearly is not the first in the series. Consequently, the viewer has no idea why these students are in this school, except from reading the synopsis, or what goes on there. I have no idea who are the good guys or the bad guys. This episode presumes that the viewer has seen previous episodes of the show and knows the background on the characters and the plot. That being said, I still found myself drawn to them and their scenarios, but was frustrated at my lack of information about what happened previously.

From reading the synopsis, I know that two siblings (brother and sister) are enrolled at the Greenhouse Academy after their mother dies, are placed in competing houses within the school and become rivals. Mysterious events draw them into a secret investigation where they uncover a plot to destroy the planet which, of course, they must band together to thwart. None of that happens in this episodes however. We just see them at the school, trying to fit in and the girl drops out to go home and be with her dad.

The cinematography is very good and the actors are quite believable. They come across as authentic. As for the storyline, this episodes drives it forward, but as a stand alone, it falls short. The writing is contemporary with pretty realistic teen dialogue. The dad seems like he's a bit of a loser. His grief over losing his wife overshadows any authentic connection with his kids. He dresses like a slob and looks pretty unkempt. After an encounter with his daughter, he expresses his desire to get his life back on track but, it's rather an abrupt change which time will reveal whether or not its successful. The most appealing thing of this show is the cinematography and the technology is exceptionally cool. Kids would really enjoy the nifty technology. It flows well, but I had a difficult time making sense of it with the missing history. The vocabulary is suitable for the target age group. The sets and lighting and background music are all spot on. No complaints about any of that. My only complaint is dropping into the middle of a series. Therefore, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend that for festival viewing the earlier episodes be shown, if possible. I recommend it for ages 8 to 14. Reviewed by Angel U. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.

After losing their mother, two siblings arrive at a boarding school for gifted future leaders. They join two competing houses at school and become rivals. Soon, mysterious events draw both groups into a secret investigation and uncover a deadly plot to destroy the planet. They must come together to save each other.
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