Parents' Guide to

Big History

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Get the big picture in sometimes-violent fact-based series.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Ideas better understood by adults than kids

I watched this with my 5th grader (11). My 5th grader found the effects to be "cool" (they fly from scene to scene) but did not understand the content. We watched the one about Salt. The pace was too quick and the concepts too difficult. Possibly high school students could understand that this is a conceptual look at history, but they need to have some strong background in certain historical concepts, ideas and time frames.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

TV Details

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