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 Doomsday Castle features a family building a fortress to live in when the world ends. Themes surrounding the violent end of the world are central to the show, and may be disturbing to younger or sensitive viewers. It contains lessons about surviving on minimal resources, and how to apply science and engineering to create various structures, but this is often overshadowed by violent images, ranging from scenes of nuclear explosions to military-type drills with lots of firearms, tear gas, etc. It also contains a fair amount of salty language and occasional arguing between the family members.
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What's the story?
The reality series DOOMSDAY CASTLE features a South Carolina family preparing for the end of the modern world by building a fortified castle that will help them survive it. A spin-off of the series Doomsday Preppers, which shows the different ways people are preparing for the inevitable demise of civilization, stars military veteran Brent Sr., whose life's mission has been to prepare for and protect his family from a nuclear attack-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that he believes will push the world back into the Dark Ages. Five of his 10 adult children, including 41-year-old Brent II, 24-year-old Ashley, 22-year-old Lindsey, and 20 year-old twins Dawn-Marie and Michael, have put their lives on hold to help him finish constructing a concrete and steel fortress in the Carolina mountains in which they can live and protect themselves when the time comes. While there, they live in an underground bunker outfitted with food rations and water sources. As they work together to build the medieval structure, they also learn how to survive with minimal resources, while developing and testing their engineering skills.
Is it any good?
Doomsday Castle offers some interesting tips for things like building homemade rat traps, finding alternative food sources in the wild, and self-defense. It also shows how science and engineering theories are being applied to build the castle and some of the weapons (like a giant catapult) designed to protect them. However, because these educational moment come within the context of the upcoming apocalypse, it's sometimes a little difficult to appreciate the value of the lessons being offered.
The colorful cast create some entertaining moments, but listening to the family constantly voice their concerns about the need to be prepared for the world's imminent demise feels a bit preachy at times. One must also wonder why they are going public with their endeavor, when their goal is to isolate and protect the family from the desperate masses who they believe will attack them when the end comes. Nonetheless, preppers of all kinds will certainly relate to a lot of what they see here, but curiosity seekers certainly won't be disappointed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Prepper community. What exactly is a prepper? What motivates them to do what they do? What's the difference between a prepper and a survivalist? How does the media portray members of both communities? What are the stereotypes associated with these groups?
Why do you think these folks agreed to be on this show? What are the potential drawbacks to being on a reality show?