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1000 Ways to Die

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
1000 Ways to Die TV Poster Image
Campy unscripted series is morbid and exploitative.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 47 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series focuses on the unorthodox ways that people have died -- without expressing much sensitivity or compassion. Different cultural approaches to death and various ancient death rituals are discussed briefly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Since the people featured in each story change (and the main ones are already dead), there aren't any consistent negative or positive role models, per se. Experts are interviewed, but they're just there to present scientific information objectively.

Violence

Endless violent reenactments of people's final moments, including images of airplanes crashing into mountains and people freezing to death, suddenly being electrocuted, etc. Some reenactments include close ups of the dead "bodies" (with their eyes open) and fake bloody wounds. There are also gruesome real-life images of injuries like black frostbitten toes. One home video captures a young woman falling to her death from 12,000 feet while someone screams in the background. References to sexual assault.

Sex

Some strong sexual innuendo, including references to masturbation and a play on the term "wet dreams." One story refers to a pregnant teenager, while another features the death of a "peeping Tom." On a few occasions, women in skimpy underwear are visible.

Language

Language includes words like "hell" and "damn." One story is titled "Butt F***ed."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional references to alcohol and drugs if/when they pertain to the strange way a person died.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this reality series about unconventional deaths includes some brief scientific explanations of the tragic events, overall the show focuses more on exploiting the victims' final moments than on teaching people how to prevent them. Expect lots of graphic reenactments and real-life images of people's final moments and gruesome injuries. There's also some strong sexual innuendo (including references to masturbation), iffy language, and references to drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDelia828 December 1, 2013

Nightmares

My 9 year old saw this at a sleepover and now she is crying and can't sleep ... Nice!
Adult Written byAmyH 8 June 19, 2015
I'm sorry but my 13-year-old child just loves this show mainly because she thinks it provides a great scientific look upon death and how many ways someone... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byXaisede January 5, 2012

I watch it sometimes...

Yeah, it's funny at times, but if your kid is sensitive (or extremely empathetic) don't let him watch. But if the child is ok with that stuff, let him... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 5, 2011

GRRRRRR

This show is the worst show EVER. It is very graphic, and its its scary. I cant believe this show is rated 14A, it shouldn't even be on TV. It makes fun of... Continue reading

What's the story?

1000 WAYS TO DIE reenacts and analyzes real people's accidental and sometimes strange deaths. It uses a combination of real-life video, still photos, and interviews with friends of the deceased to flesh out the details of these deaths -- which are caused by everything from a spine being severed by a closing window to someone getting electrocuted by a light post. Forensic experts and other scientists also weigh in on how seemingly harmless acts led to these fatal moments. Finally, the show touches on some of the ways that people have been tortured and/or put to death throughout history.

Is it any good?

This morbid, campy series presents each death story in a way that's intended to be both voyeuristic and amusing. Each tale is accompanied by graphic novel-type images and tongue-in-cheek titles (for example, the story of a man who froze in a meat locker is titled "Freeze Died") to add humor, and some of the commentary offers ironic speculations about what people were thinking and/or the lessons they learned while they lay dying. And, of course, it's all accompanied by disturbing images -- both real and reenacted -- of gruesome injuries and people in the moments just before their death.

The show offers limited scientific information about how the body can fatally react to certain things. But its real focus is on exploiting the unorthodox ways that people have died over the years. Although the names of the deceased are changed to protect their privacy, the choice to make their final moments a source of entertainment reflects a disturbing lack of sensitivity. This troubling lack of compassion -- along with the show's endless parade of graphic images -- makes it a poor choice for young kids and very iffy even for teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of featuring accidents and/or deaths on a reality show. Is it ever OK to treat these events as a source of entertainment? Does it make a difference if the stories are presented within the context of educating viewers? Families can also talk discuss how death and dying are treated in mainstream American culture. Did you know that some cultures incorporate death as a major part of life? How does this show treat its subjects?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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