A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Big History exposes historical injustices but generally takes a neutral, non-critical view of what has gone on in the past.
Positive Role Models
Many historical figures who can be admired are discussed, such as former U.S. presidents. However, the focus is on events, not personalities.
Violence & Scariness
Big History includes some historical violence: One gory scene features a bloodstained guillotine, a terrified man, and dripping blood. Violence and blood is infrequent, though, making it a bit more surprising when it appears.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big History is a fast-paced factual story about the underpinnings of historical events with a few bloody reenactments, making this series best for high schoolers. The show jumps quickly from topic to topic without a lot of explanation of events and concepts, so requires a reasonable acquaintance with history in order to understand what is being said. Scholarly teens and parent/child pairs who enjoy researching history will enjoy making connections between seemingly unrelated events.
Is It Any Good?
Big History boasts a tying-it-all-together theme that's very appealing to the type of person who likes historical mysteries like The Da Vinci Code, showing the viewer how simple things had great reverberations throughout human existence. It's a stretch to imagine, for instance, that something as humble as salt is responsible for the way humans migrated and settled throughout the world. But Big History shows how it was done, how humans laid down roads on top of animal salt licks, how trade routes were made on top of those, how people settled around them, how all life started in the salty brine of the world's oceans.
It's mesmerizing stuff for the history nut. But younger viewers who don't know about things like the Great Wall of China or the Erie Canal, will be quickly left behind. If younger kids want to watch, parents may want to DVR Big History and watch later, so that they can pause and give footnotes to catch everybody up, since the show moves quickly from idea to idea. Otherwise, this is terrific for family viewing, with everyone coming away better-informed than they started out.
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.