Parents' Guide to

Benjamin Franklin

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Honest docu reveals Founding Father's triumphs and flaws.

TV PBS Educational 2022
Benjamin Franklin PBS poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

The thoughtful four-hour docuseries offers an in-depth examination of Benjamin Franklin's complex life, revealing the imperfect man behind his larger-than-life legacy. It discusses how he distinguished himself as a printer, writer, scientist, inventor, publisher, philosopher, diplomat, and statesman throughout his life. The show sheds more light on some of Franklin's better-known work, including the publishing of Poor Richard's Almanack, his experiments with electricity, and of course, his work on the Declaration of Independence. It also details how Franklin was able to create a public persona that has been both popularized and romanticized over centuries. But Benjamin Franklin does not shy away from revealing the polymath's many flaws, like being a slave owner despite his belief in natural human rights, and being a less-than-ideal husband and father. These conversations are not intended to villainize him, nor do they minimize Franklin's many outstanding accomplishments. Instead, they offer an honest portrayal of who he was, separating the real man from an idealized national legacy.

TV Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate