Alaska State Troopers

Common Sense Media says

Reality show cops handle drunks, snow, and dead moose.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's central message is that crime doesn’t pay -- and that breaking the law invites a swift response from the Alaska State Troopers. That said, viewers will also see plenty of iffy behavior on display, so it's important to put it in the overall context of the intended take-away.

Positive role models

Though there are plenty of poor role models on display in the form of the people who get arrested, the troopers themselves are dedicated to maintaining order, doing the right thing, and helping others. They sometimes seem upset when discussing the impact that certain crimes have on other people or the environment.

Violence

The threat of violence is always present when the troopers are investigating crimes. Some suspects get violent, some are arrested because they're fighting or engaging in other destructive behavior. Some incidents involve shooting (though occasionally these are drills). People are often upset when they're being arrested, and can be verbally abusive.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Some words are bleeped.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Almost every incident seems to involve alcohol. People are shown drinking at bars and parties, sometimes heavily, and are often visibly drunk. Some of these people become very disruptive or violent and occasionally are seen driving or engaging in other activities that aren't safe to do while drinking. Troopers also investigate drug-related crimes; they often talk about drugs and sometimes find illegal drugs when they're searching suspects.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this behind-the-scenes reality series about the Alaska State Troopers features lots of incidents that involve drinking -- sometimes way too much drinking. There are wild, drunken parties and extremely drunk people causing trouble, getting into fights, driving, and engaging in other types of disruptive behavior. The troopers carry guns, as do some of the people they meet while on duty -- but in this case that's actually more a reflection of the state’s hunting culture than its level of crime; there's little shooting, and some of the most violent events turn out to be drills. Expect some minor injuries and bloodshed, occasional bleeped swearing, and several graphic shots of decaying moose carcasses in the wild.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

ALASKA STATE TROOPERS follows the well-known law-enforcement reality show model, sending camera crews to ride along with the police as they try to maintain order, this time in America’s northernmost state. The show sometimes seems to have a bit less violent crime than other, similar, shows set in the Lower 48, but there’s a lot more alcohol ... and more than a few moose.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Shows in this genre sometimes seem to run together, with a standard mix of fights, drunks, drug arrests, and suspects resisting arrest. Yes, Alaska State Troopers has all of this, but the series still manages to differentiate itself. First, there’s plenty of snow; the winter cold is essentially an extra character in the state and is often a factor as the troopers respond to each incident. Then there are the guns. When cops in other states see a gun, they're instantly on alert; in Alaska, where hunting is a favorite pastime and guns are common, the troopers hardly bat an eye when questioning armed suspects.

Then there are the moose. Several scenes show the troopers investigating massive moose carcasses -- and expressing remorse that illegal hunters have left so much meat to rot. And, finally, there’s the liquor. Almost every call involves drinking, whether it’s a drunk driver, a drunken bar fight, a drunk friend causing a scene, or other alcohol-fueled mishaps. Alcohol is a common ingredient in most shows like this, but it seems to be much more of a factor in Alaska. Maybe it’s the editing, but it does help the show create its own identity in an increasingly crowded niche.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about alcohol's presence in the show. Why do you think so many of the featured incidents involve alcohol? Does this show make drinking seem fun and glamorous or stupid and dangerous? What about other TV shows?

  • Do you think maintaining law and order in such a harsh environment is harder than in other areas? How can environment affect behavior? Is there more crime, less, or just different types?

  • How does this show compare to other reality shows about law enforcement?

TV details

Network:National Geographic Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR

This review of Alaska State Troopers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old May 21, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Hi.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bymsmissie75 January 10, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good show

i love the show, trooper Howie Peterson is gorgeous !!!
What other families should know
Great role models

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