Connected

TV review by
Ashley Moulton, Common Sense Media
Connected TV Poster Image
Super science docuseries encourages curiosity, skepticism.

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

Positive Messages

Presents science as something cool and interesting. Also presents science and technology as something to be skeptical of sometimes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Host Latif Nasser is an excellent example of curiosity and inquiry into the world. He is Muslim and he talks about his background a bit on the show.

Violence

Varies from segment to segment, mostly minimal violence and scariness but one episode touches on nuclear bombs.

Sex

Some segments feature conversations about sex between consenting adults, some segments reference animals mating.

Language

Mild language like "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some segments feature adults smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in moderation. One episode briefly features the word "marijuana" on screen (but it is not talked about).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Connected is a science documentary series that touches on some slightly mature themes. It varies segment to segment within each episode, but some segments make reference to consensual sex between adults, mating animals, and scary topics like nuclear bombs. Some scenes have background cigarette smoking, and others show adults enjoying alcohol responsibly. There is mild language but it is not frequent.

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What's the story?

As host Latif Nasser tweeted about his new show, Connected is "basically if Bill Nye and Anthony Bourdain had an awkward Muslim baby." Nasser, a veteran science journalist of Radiolab podcast fame, now travels around the world to report on amazing science and technology stories. Each episode focuses on a different theme like "surveillance," "poop," and "digits." For each segment, Nasser interviews experts in various science disciplines. He then explains how seemingly different stories in science and technology are actually related. For example, in the "surveillance" episode, he compares human dating apps like Tinder to ZIMS, a computer program that helps zoologists find mating pairs between animals at different zoos. He also explains how facial recognition software is used in both pig farming and for human law enforcement.

Is it any good?

This excellent science series will likely inspire a lot of excited "did you know..." conversations from teen viewers. The stories featured in Connected are incredibly fascinating and not ones teens are likely learning in science class. Beautiful cinematography and compelling storytelling make this show feel more like a travelogue than a procedural science documentary. Host Latif Nasser strikes a perfect balance of someone who is equally amazed about scientific advancements and wary of the unintended consequences they can sometimes bring. Most importantly, he explains why the science is very relevant to our everyday lives. Curious teenagers and adults will enjoy this great show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how host Latif Nasser feels curious about the world around him. Did anything from the episode make you curious and inspire you to learn more?

  • Nasser also has a lot of skepticism around the way certain technologies are used. Did anything featured in the show make you feel uneasy? Why or why not?

TV details

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