Build It Bigger

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Build It Bigger TV Poster Image
Close-up view of large-scale construction process.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show celebrates the workers whose efforts make massive projects like underground tunnels possible.

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but there are some tense moments when workers discuss job site dangers and emergency precautions that help save their lives.

Sexy Stuff

Expletives like "s--t" and "f--k" (usually uttered under stress) are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational documentary series is filmed on location at construction sites of massive proportions, and workers often discuss the dangers associated with their jobs in very relaxed terms ("If that happens, you'll be dead," for example). Tweens with an interest in engineering and heavy machinery will be intrigued by this rare insiders' view of large-scale projects. Intermittent strong language ("f--k," "s--t") is bleeped.

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What's the story?

In BUILD IT BIGGER, host Danny Forster suits up for a hard day's work on some of the world's most enormous construction projects, giving viewers a rare glimpse into the engineering, mechanics, and dedicated workers that make them possible. Among the building sites he visits are those of extreme roller-coasters, towering skyscrapers, and powerful U.S. Army tanks. Forster walks alongside the skilled workers, lending a hand when he can (but more often being kept a safe arm's length away from anything really important) and explaining every move as it's made. He describes how the people and machinery work together for both efficiency and safety's sake, and he talks with the workers about their jobs. Computer-generated images illustrate the magnitude and inner workings of the elaborate projects.

Is it any good?

There's no question that the show is informative: In a segment about a California tunneling project, for example, Forster joins mining and construction crews digging a pass through solid rock and water a mile below the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. He reports on the entire process, from inspecting the water content in the soil to operating the huge machine that virtually disintegrates the rock and dirt in its path to form the tunnel. He also emerges from the subterranean construction site to observe the manufacturing processes that produce the concrete fittings, ventilation shafts, and other supplies required for the project.

That said, the show lacks any special pizzazz, so it probably won't be a must-watch for most kids. But tweens and teens with an interest in engineering or heavy machinery may be intrigued to watch their practical application in the real world. As for content, it's all fairly benign, but keep an ear out for some (bleeped) strong language and plenty of talk about the life-threatening hazards that accompany work on jobs like these.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the construction process. Kids: What big structures exist around your home? Have you ever thought about how they're made? What tools and machines do you think would be used in building such structures? Are you interested in building things? What would you like to build? Do shows like this help you learn more about things you're interested in? How could you find out even more if you wanted to?

TV details

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