Diamond Divers

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Diamond Divers TV Poster Image
Real South African jewel hunters fight and curse a lot.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shighlights the risks some people are willing to take for money. The primary cast of Americans and South Africans are white, while the images of African pirates, warlords, and others engaged in violent behavior are largely black.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Captain Aydelotte admits to not always being fair to his competitors. He has a troubled relationship with his adult son. There is a lot of distrust between the crew and the South African mining company.

Violence

The team defends itself against poachers, pirates, warlords, and smugglers with rifles. Violent storms and shark-infested waters put the divers as risk. Arguments between Jason and other crew members are frequent; brawls break out occasionally. One crew member threatens another with a knife. Accidents lead to bloody cuts.

Sex
Language

Words like "hell," "pissed," "ass," and "bitch" audible; curses like "s--t" and "f--k" bleeped. Occasional crude sexual references, like calling a woman's breasts "knockers."

Consumerism

Aydelotte's Rescue and Salvage company logo is frequently visible. Land Rover jeeps (and their logos) are also visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer drinking is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diamond Divers is a reality series that follows a team of American sailors and divers doing dangerous diamond sea mining in the waters off the coast of South Africa. It contains lots of salty language ("bitch," "piss"; the strongest curses bleeped) and occasional lewd sexual references. There's some beer-fueled drunken brawls, and lots of images of rifles and other weapons being drawn.

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What's the story?

DIAMOND DIVERS is a reality doc that follows a crew of American sailors and divers who have entered the dangerous and high-stakes business of South African ocean raw diamond diving. The series features Captain John Aydelotte, the owner of a Washington-based water rescue and salvage company, as he leads his crew, including handyman Doc, mechanic J.R., and his unruly adult son Jason to the Skeleton Coast off of South Africa to harvest the raw gems from ocean gravel for an independent mining company. Joining them are two young Texan divers, Marty and Sam, who are not used to working with Aydelotte's gang. They soon learn that the diamond diving business has its own unique set of problems, including dangerously rough waters, sharks, and the constant need to defend themselves from pirates, poachers, smugglers, and warlords. Sailing a less-than-seaworthy vessel also leads to some challenges. But the American crew is desperate for money to make ends meet, and take unexpected risks in hopes of cashing in on the lucrative diamond market.

Is it any good?

The show features the difficult and dangerous work that goes into mining the African diamonds that ultimately end up in jewelry around the world. It equally focuses on the tensions that arise among the crew (especially between Jason and his father), resulting from having to work together so closely and, in some cases, a lack of discipline. The pressure the men are under to find stones and get paid also becomes overwhelming.

While it touches on some of the business practices and the social, economic, and political conflicts in Africa that are impacting the trade, it stays away from the controversies surrounding the diamond mining industry. But while the uniqueness of the work and the exotic location makes for some interesting viewing, it also sends a troubling message about how far people feel they need to go, and how many risks they are willing to take, in order to make money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons why people take extraordinary risks to make money. Is it based on necessity, or is it greed?

  • Are reality shows like this one produced to educate people about these types of jobs, or to highlight the risks people are taking when doing them?

TV details

For kids who love reality shows

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