Boneyard

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Boneyard TV Poster Image
When motors stop, what happens next? Kids OK.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show's message is neutral, but the series highlights positive actions like recycling, as well as fun (but potentially dangerous) activities like demolition derbies.

Violence & Scariness

Crash tests show dummies being tossed around with some simulated blood. Some episodes focus on military machines.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Brand names of the machines/items being discussed -- like Ford or Cadillac -- are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational documentary series -- which looks at what happens to big mechanical items like cars and planes after their conventional use ends -- includes scenes of cars being crushed by balers, as well as crash-test experiments that mimic real accidents and show dummies being thrown around inside vehicles (some even include simulated blood). Some episodes focus on military machines like B-52 bombers and discuss their war-oriented purposes.

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What's the story?

BONEYARD follows past-their-prime machines like automobiles, railroad cars, and airplanes to their own version of the afterlife: Resting places where they're recycled, transformed, celebrated, or ignored. Interviews with the people involved in the different parts of a vehicle's afterlife give a personal touch to the otherwise-emotionless information, and historical background adds context to the different processes described in the show. For instance, in an episode about cars, viewers learn that World War II jump-started the auto recycling movement, since scrap metal was badly needed for military equipment.

Is it any good?

Interesting information comes out of each episode, such as the different uses for scrap tires -- which is now a big business. Old tires can be recycled to make padded playground groundcover as well as garden mulch. Viewers also learn about the different facilities and equipment involved in breaking old machines down into their useful parts; in the car episode, they're introduced to the world of car balers, pick-n-pull yards, and more.

In discussing the machines' transformed lives, Boneyard touches on a broad range of topics and areas. For instance, the car episode not only discussed scrap metal and recycled rubber, but also paid a visit to the famous Cadillac Ranch in Texas, where avant-garde artists created a gigantic art installation using half-buried Cadillacs. Altogether, the show is another high-quality History Channel offering that's informative, occasionally enlightening, and -- at times -- a bit dull. Engineering and mechanical enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the series, but younger viewers may have trouble paying attention for a whole hour.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they learned by watching this series. Did you ever think about "recycling" when it came to things like cars and planes? What is the recycling process? How is it different for household items than it is for these big machines? Do you know where your stuff goes after it's picked up? Can you think of items besides cans and cardboard that you can recycle or transform into other useful items?

TV details

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