After the Attack

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
After the Attack TV Poster Image
Animal asault tales too intense for little kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series centers on animal-attack victims' efforts to heal emotionally following near-fatal encounters. Subjects often become upset as they recount their stories, but their sentiments never seem forced or dramatized for the camera. The series also emphasizes responsible behavior around wild animals.


Re-enactments of violent animal attacks. Real-life victims are shown bloodied and bruised. Survivors describe the terror of being bitten, dragged, and mauled by their attackers.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series includes intense re-enactments of humans' near-fatal encounters with wild animals like moose and mountain lions. Real-life survivors describe in detail their terror at being bitten, trampled, and mauled by their aggressors, and many refer to feeling close to death. While the show clearly isn't an ideal choice for little kids and sensitive tweens, sturdy viewers will be inspired by victims' tales of conquering their fears and achieving emotional healing after such life-altering experiences.

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What's the story?

For victims of vicious animal attacks, the road to emotional recovery is often more challenging than recovering from their physical wounds. But with the help of zoologist Dave Salmoni, many are able to come to terms with the emotions of their near-fatal experiences and face their resulting fears. In AFTER THE ATTACK, Salmoni and a team of animal experts work with victims to put the past to rest and move on with renewed inner peace.

Is it any good?

After the Attack achieves the delicate balance between blandly reporting human emotion and over-dramatizing that emotion for entertainment. While victims are prompted to describe every detail of their harrowing experiences on camera -- which leads to many tearful moments -- the series never feels like it's trying to capitalize on the subjects' suffering. Instead the focus is always on helping them face their fears at a pace that's comfortable for them so they can heal and move on.

For older kids and adults, the show is a nice change of pace from over-dramatized reality shows that take advantage of participants' emotional journeys. Here there's no question that the intent truly is to help people, and viewers will surely be moved by many of their stories. That said, the violent content and graphic attack re-enactments will probably be too scary for young and sensitive viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people are captivated by stories of physical and emotional struggles. What do viewers get out of watching? Why do you think victims are willing to share their stories? What role does editing play in adding drama to a series like this one?

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