Dirty Jobs

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Dirty Jobs TV Poster Image
Ick and shtick will appeal to older tweens and up.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

The series pays tribute to everyday Americans who work the jobs no one wants. It underscores the importance of doing your job well and with enthusiasm, whatever it is.

Positive role models & representations

Rowe has a sense of humor, but treats the folks he meets with respect.

Violence

Discussion of pigs "meeting their maker" while feeding them slops to fatten them up.

Sex

Various jokes and bad-pun-style innuendo (for example, when pressboard wood is suspended for staining, Mike comments that they're all "well hung").One episode features semen being extracted from stallions (with some associated remarks).

Language

Mutterings when frustrated, including "son of a bitch," "stupid job," "sucks," and ocassional bleeped words.

Consumerism

Mentions stage shows while visiting Las Vegas; aware of products.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Pokes fun at pigs who get drunk from eating fermented ice cream.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series' humor doesn't come just from the grubby vocations being reported on, but also from the irony of seeing Mike Rowe -- a well-spoken, likeable television host -- up to his elbows in the dirty jobs of everyday American laborers. The show includes adult-oriented sarcasm, but chances are it will go over the head of most kids. Younger viewers will be enthralled by the series' dirt, stench, and general ick, but the language and humor make it best for older tweens and up.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 year old Written byamyn1 October 8, 2014

WARNING to parents. This program is FAR to graphic for children of ANY age!!!

PLEASE block this program if you have children under 17!!!! "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe" is a HIGHLY inappropriate program for children of any age... Continue reading
Adult Written bycaitlin414 December 29, 2009
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

fine show

it's ultra gross, but it's interesting.
Teen, 14 years old Written bycoocoopachu April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Mike Rowe may seem like the least likely person to get messy. He's sung with the Baltimore opera, sold jewelry on QVC, and worked for years as the host of a local TV show about the San Francisco Bay Area. It was while working on that show that he did a segment on a local dirty job, found a niche, pitched it to the Discovery Channel, and -- voilá! -- DIRTY JOBS was born. The series may make some viewers uncomfortable, but those with an iron stomach will enjoy watching Rowe and his cameraman, Troy Paff, meet the men and women who work in some pretty disgusting yet important vocations. Rowe has donned his work clothes to feed slop to hogs, help catch rattlesnakes, work with septic-tank technicians, remove bones from fish, and much more.

Is it any good?

Rowe's nonstop, sarcastic one-liners are a large component of the show -- they help him get through his experiences. For example, when pouring spoiled milk to pigs, a farmer shares a story about once giving them fermented ice cream, which got the pigs drunk. Rowe's reply? "Sure, might as well have a shot before going off to meet your maker." Rowe is affable with the workers, and they seem generally tickled to be showcased. But considering that Rowe once muttered "stupid job" when he wasn't able to catch a runaway hog, it's hard not to wonder whether there's a bit of condescension involved, too.

Young kids may enjoy watching Rowe dive for golf balls in alligator-infested waters, but with its adult humor, Dirty Jobs is better for older tweens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the featured jobs and the physical strength, bravery, and stamina displayed by those who do them day in and day out. Rowe enjoys informing viewers about these occupations and the importance of what these workers do in their communities -- but, in the end, are we as viewers respecting these average Americans or gawking at them?

TV details

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