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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 this imaginative series has little worrisome content beyond a few benign flirtations among teens and some tense predatory scenes between animals. Overacting and general hokeyness drag it down, but neither is likely to bother young tweens very much, and older ones may find the faults forgivable in light of the show's impressive mix of live action and computer-generated dinosaurs. No doubt aspiring scientists will be the show's biggest fans, since it poses some intriguing questions about evolution and the possibility of the species surviving supposed extinction.
What's the story?
In DINOSAPIEN, seismic activity in a remote area of Canada uncovers a group of dinosaurs that have survived extinction and evolved into semi-intelligent beings, able to communicate with the humans who discover them. The Dinosaur Explorer Camp for kids, located in Canada's badlands (a hotbed for fossils), is run by scientist Dr. Hillary Slayton (Suzanna Hamilton), with help from her daughter, Lauren (Brittney Wilson). One evening while hiking by herself, Lauren is confronted by two carnivorous dinosaurs (courtesy of modern-day CGI), but before she can register her shock, a third comes to her rescue and scares the predators away. Eventually she befriends this gentler one, names him Eno, and communicates with him to learn how his species managed to survive -- and evolve -- so many years after its supposed extinction.
Is it any good?
DinoSapien is geared toward young tweens, which is probably a good thing, since they're not likely to criticize the cast's consistent overacting and the cheesiness of the overall plot. But older viewers with an interest in science might be able overlook the show's pitfalls to enjoy its impressive CGI effects and the intriguing what-ifs posed about a species' triumph over extinction. If your kids do tune in, just be sure they can handle the tense confrontations between dinosaurs and humans, as well as the prevalent (but mild) flirtatious exchanges among teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the series' idea -- that some dinosaurs survived extinction. What do you think the impact would be if an ancient extinct species reappeared in real life? Does the concept of "extinction" leave any room for the possibility of a species coming back? How do scientists approach the theories of extinction differently? Which ones do you believe?
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