TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Abandoned TV Poster Image
Some history lessons in restoration reality with iffy vocab.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The importance of preserving history through artifacts is highlighted.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chaikin is committed to saving and preserving items of historic value. When entering properties he is very respectful of the space and the items in it. The team plays pranks on each other, but work well together.


Pranks occasionally lead to the occasional frightened yelp, but there's nothing violent here.


Words like "bitch," "damn," "hell," "ass," and "piss" are used. Stronger words are fully bleeped.


Jay's business sign, Reclaimed Relics, is occasionally visible. Occasional fixtures and old appliances feature logos like General Motors and Frigidaire. Companies like Tiffany's are also discussed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Abandoned will appeal mostly to history buffs or folks interested in collecting or refurbishing antiques, but kids probably won't be clamoring to see it. But if they want to watch, language is the main area of concern with fairly frequent use of words like "piss," "bitch," and "ass" with stronger words bleeped.

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What's the story?

ABANDONED is a reality series featuring Pennsylvania antique collector and restorer Jay Chaikin as he searches abandoned buildings for pieces of history. Along with his partners Dan Graham and Mark Pekenas, Chaikin travels around the country searching through buildings that have been locked up or are scheduled for demolition looking for items that can be salvaged and restored. From an old water fountain in a closed paper mill in Maine to some stained glass windows in a condemned Philadelphia church, Chaikin tries to negotiate purchase prices with building owners for the items that will allow him to eventually make a profit when reselling them. It's easy for him to get carried away, especially when the buildings have fascinating stories behind them or have lots of interesting items inside, but luckily his wife and business partner Ricki keeps him in line and on budget.

Is it any good?

Abandoned offers an interesting look at what kinds of historical or valuable items can be found in buildings that have become a burden to their owners or the communities. Chaikin offers viewers some history behind the buildings, as well as some explanation about why they were abandoned. Folks also get to see what some of the items looked like when the building was being used, as well as what they look like after they are restored.

Abandoned features some interesting stories, but some of the show's most entertaining moments are when Chaikin strategically works deals with building owners who are hesitant to part with some of the items. It's an interesting and challenging business, but one that manages to preserve some of America's history and culture one object at a time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons beautiful buildings go from being occupied to abandoned or torn down. What role was does the social and economic conditions of a community play in the future of a building?

  • What kinds of things can these buildings tell us about the history of these communities? What makes some of the items in these buildings valuable vs. other items?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality shows

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