Bering Sea Gold

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Bering Sea Gold TV Poster Image
Alaska-themed docuseries with rough and risky gold miners.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the hard and dangerous work that goes into sea gold mining. There's an underlying message that the people who do this kind of hard, physical work are rowdy, rude, and sometimes even criminal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The miners work hard, but often take serious risks when dredging, including diving without being properly trained. Some skippers are more respectful than others of their crew. One crew member is trying to stay out of jail. There is one woman among the featured crews, showing that this kind of hard work is not only limited to men.

Violence

Arguments often break out between the crew members. A bar brawl leads to bloody stab wounds that require stitches. Injuries like dislocated shoulders are sometimes sustained on the job.

Sex
Language

The miners have a salty vocab; words like "ass" are audible and curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Logos for Caterpillar tractors and Jeep Laredos are visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Celebrations and slow days sometimes lead to drinking and alcohol-fueled brawls.  Cigarette smoking is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality doc following gold miners dredging Alaskan sea beds for gold show some of the miners taking very dangerous risks to do their jobs. Expect some strong language ("ass," plus "s--t," "f--k" bleeped), arguing between crew members, and brief, occasional alcohol-driven brawls resulting in minor, but bloody injuries. Cigarette smoking is common, and logos for Caterpillar and Jeep Laredo are sometimes visible.

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What's the story?

BERING SEA GOLD is a reality series featuring miners who spend their summers dredging the bottom of the Bering Sea for gold. Miners from across the country travel to Nome, Alaska, where melting glaciers deposit gold-laden sediments into the water. Miners like Steve Pomrenke, the owner of the Christine Rose; Scott Meisterheim, the skipper of the Wild Ranger; Zeke Tenhoff, the owner of The Clark; and Ian Foster, the rookie owner of the Sluicey, spend every summer day they can using their dredgers, most of which are diver operated, to dig up and vacuum the sea bottom and sift the sand and rock for fine gold. The work can be profitable, but bad weather, mechanical failures, and injuries among their crew can lead to the loss of cash, and even lives. But the Alaskan summer is short, so the miners do everything they can to maximize their time, and bring up as much gold as they can to sell for enough cash to pay their operational expenses and get them through the long winter months.

Is it any good?

The series showcases the competitive and dangerous work of Alaskan sea mining, as well as the mechanical methods that are used to do the work. It also highlights the fact that more people are turning to gold mining as a way of surviving tough economic times. But much of the drama comes from the relationships between the dredgers and their crew, rather than the actual gold haul.

Like the miners featured on Gold Rush, the sea miners here are driven both by greed as well as the need for survival. They are also willing to take very dangerous risks (like diving to the sea bottom with little or no training), for the sake of turning a profit. Nonetheless, the process is an interesting one to watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of reality series that feature people doing risky, dangerous, or dirty jobs. Why are they so appealing? Do you think the things they do on these shows are what really happens on the job, or is the drama played up for TV?

  • Why do you think these miners do this kind of work? What other options are open to them? Are there any stereotypes about people who do hard, physical labor? Does this show support or contradict these stereotypes?

TV details

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