A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The value of curiosity, history, family stories, craftsmanship, and deep knowledge are all emphasized here.
Positive Role Models
Role models are the very knowledgeable appraisers who are experts in their fields, and the Roadshow attendees who want to know all about their items (attendees range from serious collectors to those who've just uncovered a fascinating old painting in Grandma's closet). A few attendees are obviously upset when their "family treasure" isn't worth big bucks.
Violence & Scariness
Items for appraisal include weapons (like Civil War swords and Winchester rifles). On occasion, appraisers explain how the items were used, but there's never discussion or images of graphic violence. Some artwork may also depict violent scenes, such as battlefields.
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Products & Purchases
The show sometimes features collections of vintage advertising and products from companies like Coca-Cola, Michelin, Quaker Oats, and other iconic American corporations.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The show occasionally features collections of alcohol-related items (like swanky cocktail sets, crystal flasks, beer steins, and even beer cans). Also featured from time to time are collections of tobacco-related items like cigar boxes, pipes, and advertising. No drug-related items are shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that tweens who are interested in history will hopefully be hooked on Antiques Roadshow, but this PBS gem will probably seem a bit dry for kids used to colorful, fast-paced cartoons (unfortunately). On occasion, the show features weapons and tobacco/alcohol-related items, as well as artwork and photographs with images that may be considered violent (such as battlefield scenes). But all items being appraised are presented in a historical context, and there's no graphic discussion of violent acts or promotion of alcohol or tobacco products. A few attendees seem in it only for the (potential) money, but overall both the appraisers and the attendees are models of knowledge and curiosity.
Is It Any Good?
This isn't nearly as fast-paced as most of network programming, but if you're at all interested in history, waiting for the verdict on each item can be more suspenseful than the scariest thriller. There's so much to learn from Antiques Roadshow. IAnd the breadth of history is never-ending because there's no end to the types of featured items, their origins, and the time periods in which they were made and used. An appraisal of an ancient Chinese vessel might be followed by an appraisal of rhinestone sunglasses once owned by Elvis Presley, and so on.
The show also inspires kids to learn more about their own family history and heirlooms, as well as the value and all-around fun of collecting. Appraisers tell owners and viewers how to avoid purchasing fakes and forgeries and how to care for and restore precious objects. Sometimes kids even appear on the show, talking to appraisers with ease and pride about their personal treasures.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.