A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that since all of the information presented here is based on fact, sensitive kids could be scared. The dinosaurs are either animated or large-scale models, but there's some discussion about what a carnivore could do to other creatures -- without the context that the carnivore would be doing it in order to eat dinner.
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What's the story?
Fun and engaging, BONEHEAD DETECTIVES OF THE PALEOWORLD originally aired in the late 1990s and continues to pop up now and again. While filled with great information from all branches of science, it's most likely to appeal to other \"boneheads\" (dinosaur fans). In each episode, along with main characters Sam (Danny Tamberelli) and Allie (Rebecca Budig), kid viewers hear a Question of the Day from a phone answering machine. Then Sam and Allie use a videotape machine and editing board (which look like antiques now) to get answers from various dinosaur experts working around the world.
Is it any good?
There's a lot of learning to be had in this show. The segments are short enough to hold a younger viewer's attention but long enough to transmit some real meaty information, largely because each episode covers a fairly narrow topic -- such as how to find dinosaur tracks, how to use math to figure out how fast a dinosaur could run, or the regular feature Sam's Wacky Timeline, which shows when the events that are being covered happened.
Unfortunately, this tight focus is also the show's downfall. While well done and fun to watch, Bonehead Detectives isn't likely to appeal to kids who aren't interested in dinosaurs. It's just too specific.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how a show like this is made. How do you think they get the clips of the scientists doing their work? How many do you think they had to film before they got enough good ones to tell their story? Families can try making a mini-documentary on dinosaurs to see how it's done.
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