By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Quirky show entices with mesmerizing animation, STEM topics.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Stories center on basic STEM concepts like role of earthworms in a healthy ecosystem and the fact that bees live in hives. The learning is very simplistic, but the sense of curiosity that sparks the characters' adventures has value for young viewers.
Introduces STEM concepts in engaging, somewhat quirky stories with simple plots and mesmerizing animation. As the characters let curiosity lead the way, they revel in the wonders of the natural world and experience the possibilities of the technological sciences. The friends encourage each other to ask questions so they can solve problems together.
Positive Role Models
The main characters are four friends who share an interest in learning and experiencing new things, especially related to the sciences. Exploring and discovery are their kind of fun. When one ponders a question and can't find an answer, friends always pitch in to help.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DIY is a STEM-inspired series of shorts whose main characters are four friends with a shared passion for curiosity and learning. There's a prominent can-do attitude that drives the characters' actions, and their desire to solve problems inspires them to use their knowledge about the natural world, technology, and math concepts in thoughtful ways. These shorts don't allow much time for plot development, so puzzles are introduced, explored, and solved in quick fashion. Even so, they underscore the value of asking questions and seeking answers.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In DIY, four friends who share a love of exploration discover new things about the world around them by getting out in it and experimenting themselves. Jack (voiced by Lauren Lapkus), Hanna (Hannah Pearlman), Tina (Starlee Kine), and Eli (Charlyne Yi) are inspired by what they observe and go to great lengths to solve the problems they see. When their favorite majestic tree begins to wither, they turn to the best earthmovers they know to rejuvenate it. When the mystery of an unsavory burrito threatens their enjoyment of lunch, they use their knowledge of ratios to make the perfect ingredient blend. Putting their minds to good use is an essential part of the fun these four best friends share when they're together.
Is It Any Good?
This show's striking animation speaks to its overall feel; it's unlike anything you've seen before but is mesmerizing right from the start. The vibrancy of the colors and detail on and around the characters is exceedingly enjoyable, and its setting in a somewhat futuristic world where plants and animals can talk adds to the mystique. Yes, the strange animal-human hybrid characters are a bit on the geeky side, but they make being so seem surprisingly cool.
DIY is an entertainment experiment that works really well and is destined to win over fans who like their shows a little off-kilter. With adventures that are rooted in STEM concepts and character experiences that emphasize the value of curiosity and the problem-solving process, DIY is a hidden gem among kids' series.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the characters arrive at a solution to their problems in DIY. Does the process take long? Do they discover the answer right away? How similarly or differently do you approach the problem-solving process in your own experience?
How does curiosity help us learn new things and have new experiences? What topics inspire your curiosity the most? Do you get a sense of accomplishment when you solve a puzzle or answer a question?
How are practical applications of science and math knowledge helpful to the characters in DIY? Can you think of circumstances in which the same would be true for you? How does technology in particular improve our lives?
- Premiere date: June 11, 2018
- Cast: Charlyne Yi, Lauren Lapkus, Hannah Pearlman
- Network: Cartoon Network
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: NR
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: December 12, 2018
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