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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Absurd Planet is about some of the world's most unusual creatures. Like most nature shows, it has lots of educational tidbits about animals and their habitats. Unlike most, it shares this information in a comic way, with lots of potty humor that will delight young viewers (and may or may not turn off some parents). Expect plenty of shots of animals going to the bathroom, as well as a focus on the less palatable aspects of their lives. For instance, there's a segment on the pearlfish and how it lives inside the sea cucumber's rectum (called a "tushy," "b-end," "poo hamper," and more in the show's language). And there's one about the dung beetle and its love for "poo" (accompanied by visuals of various types of animal feces). But other than the potty humor and and iffy-for-some jokes and language, this show doesn't have any content that's too upsetting. The only animals viewers see dying are ones like bugs and worms, and the camera doesn't linger on faces or blood (if there is any). Absurd Planet also has visible respect for animals and how they live: "Just because something's weird doesn't mean it's not worthy," sums up Mother Nature. This series may ignite viewers' curiosity, and it's an excellent educational whole-family bet for those who don't mind the off-color jokes.
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What's the story?
The aptly named ABSURD PLANET takes a peek at some of the world's weirdest animals, from narwhals to mud skippers to the pygmy slow loris, all real animals that have successfully managed to make a go of it thanks to their unusual habits. Join narrator Mother Nature as she looks in on habitats all over the world to show us how these crazy creatures live.
Is it any good?
Nature is indeed fascinating and weird, and this show filled with second-grade jokes about the weird creatures of our world is perfect education-plus-entertainment for family viewing. The visuals are absolutely beautiful, with candy-colored creatures caught in the act of living their everyday lives and incredible overhead habitat vistas, but this could be said of almost any nature show. What sets Absurd Planet apart is the humor, which isn't dirty or sharp enough to offend parents, and is calculated to delight young kids, because second graders and fart jokes go together like peanut butter and jelly. In the first episode alone, we meet the pearlfish that live inside a sea cucumber's butt, feces-munching dung beetles, and marabou storks, who are equipped with appendages aptly described as a "scrotum neck."
Thankfully, though Absurd Planet is all-in for grade-school humor, it avoids another type of scene popular in nature shows: the bloody kill. Many the animal-lover has begun an animal show filled with adoration for an adorable creature...that soon ends up being ripped apart by a predator. Though Absurd Planet does take pleasure in investigating some of nature's grosser aspects (note how many animals we see emptying their bowels), and we do hear about what and how animals eat, including each other, visuals are limited to brief moments in which dying bugs struggle or a juicy worm is nibbled by a star nosed mole, there's no blood and no dramatic moments of death. Families of nature appreciators, listen up: You might learn something, and at the very least, your kids won't mind watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the tone of Absurd Planet. Is it serious? Funny? How common is it to use humor to drive home information? Is this approach enjoyable to you and your family? Why or why not? Does the humor make viewers more likely to watch and enjoy? What type of viewer is this show attempting to appeal to?
Is there a need for conservation and protection of certain species? Why are some species endangered? How close is our connection to nature, and why does that matter? What does "conservation" mean?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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