A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows the crew of a Maine logging company -- offers an honest look at the hard work, financial uncertainty, and inherent dangers that come with the job. This gritty show often explores real-life issues that are too intense for little kids (a man loses his home to fire and barely pulls out of diabetic shock, for example), and loggers talk frankly about the injuries they've endured on the job. Tensions run high when the company's owners disagree, but overall the show celebrates their work ethic and determination.
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What's the story?
AMERICAN LOGGERS heads to the wilds of northern Maine to hitch a ride with the crews of Pelletier Inc., a family-owned logging business three generations old that's now operated by seven Pelletier brothers. The Pelletiers and their crews battle brutal weather, mechanical failures, and often bodily injury to harvest timber for surrounding paper mills and extend the primitive logging roads for better forest access. But despite their determination, the plummeting economy threatens the company's future -- and their family livelihood.
Is it any good?
This eye-opening series is a real-life underdog tale that pits gritty determination against the unrelenting forces of nature, fate, and economic uncertainty. Some viewers may find it hard to relate to these tough-as-nails loggers, but for all their roughness, their unwavering resolve is an inspiring statement on the world's current troubles. It's impossible to not get wrapped up in their personal and professional struggles, and you'll find yourself rooting for their success even as the odds stack against them.
That said, like many other "dangerous jobs" shows, this series isn't an age-appropriate pick for little kids and young tweens because of its honest portrayal of this perilous profession. While injuries aren't shown up close, some are re-enacted, and many are described in fairly gory detail by the victims (for example, a man talks about his scalp being severed from his skull and hanging like the lid of a tuna can). The guys also talk candidly about their career path and, in some cases, their apparent lack of alternative choices. Raw emotion plays out in some tense moments, and the real-life nature of the show could weigh on younger or particularly sensitive viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of docu-reality series like this one. Why do you think viewers like shows about people going about their everyday lives? Is it because their "everyday lives" are more dangerous/interesting than most viewers'? Do you think these jobs are as dangerous in real-life as they seem on TV? Families can also discuss careers. How do geography and socio-economics affect someone's eventual career choice? What other factors go into the mix?