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 series -- in which host Andrew Zimmern partakes in unusual (by American standards) dietary choices like jungle rats and raw pig brains-- isn’t for the faint of heart ... or stomach. It's a little more intense than Zimmern's previous series, Bizarre Foods, as Zimmern also joins in on some traditional rituals that involve killing or injuring animals and, in at least one case, using their blood as a cleansing agent on his body. Young kids will have trouble grasping the cultural meaning of what they see, but for tweens and teens, this intriguing series is an eye-opening introduction to the world’s cultural diversity.
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What's the story?
ANDREW ZIMMERN’S BIZARRE WORLD takes viewers on tours of some of the world’s most intriguing cultures in countries like South Africa, Germany, and Cuba. In each new locale, Zimmern forgoes the tourist traps for the road less traveled, looking to local residents for insight into their lives. Through his unorthodox tour guides, he experiences the beautiful, inspiring, and just plain odd (to Americans, anyway) cultural nuances that make them so unique.
Is it any good?
If you’ve ever seen Zimmern’s first series, Bizarre Foods, you know that he's an inquisitive traveler who relishes unpalatable delicacies as much as average tourists yearn for breathtaking views. Bizarre World gives Zimmern the chance to take that same insatiable appetite for the unusual to every aspect of a culture, and viewers are consequently treated to fascinating insights into local religious rituals, song, and dance -- in addition to the ingestion of the occasional jungle rat, that is.
What gives the series credibility beyond that of a shock-seeking reality show is Zimmern’s unquestionable respect for every aspect of the cultures he visits. It’s obvious that he does his homework, and he puts every action into context as it relates to his hosts’ religious beliefs, lifestyle, or tribal traditions. Sure, most of it will still seem strange to Americans, but for those who can keep an open mind, there’s a world of knowledge to be gleaned. Just be sure to save this one for tweens and teens, since sensitive younger kids may be upset by scenes of animals being killed or eaten.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their own customs. What special traditions do you enjoy, either on an everyday basis or on special occasion? How did they evolve?
This series is a great way to start a conversation about issues like tolerance. Do you think prejudice is still a problem in our society? What role does the media play in creating stereotypes of certain ethnic or religious groups?
Tweens: Does this series inspire you to see new places and meet new people? If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?