Expedition Great White TV Poster Image

Expedition Great White

(i)

 

Educational shark docu veers from thrills to tedium.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Scientific research is important, and the team here is willing to put themselves in danger to help people learn more about a dangerous creature. There may be no obvious, immediate benefit from learning more about the mating habits of great white sharks, for example, but knowledge can certainly be its own reward.

Positive role models

Interacting, in very close proximity, with great white sharks is certainly dangerous, but the researchers here clearly enjoy their work. Their confidence and daring is impressive, and might make other workplaces seem easier to manage.

Violence

The researchers are constantly in close proximity to large, very dangerous sharks, though there is rarely any kind of attack.

Sex

No sex or nudity, though the researchers often discuss the reproductive habits of sharks.

Language

Some words are bleeped.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The crew works hard during the day, but when their shifts are over they are happy to relax with a few beers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this educational series -- which follows a team of researchers to a Mexican island to study the great white shark -- looks more dangerous than it is. Scientists capture the huge predators and perform a variety of tests, all in the name of science, and there are very few incidents involving any true peril. Despite the potentially exciting topic, the work of catching the sharks and performing the tests can start to seem repetitive, limiting the appeal to short-attention-span viewers.

Kids say

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What's the story?

The great white shark is one of the better-known creatures in pop culture, but scientists actually know little about its life cycle. In EXPEDITION GREAT WHITE, Dr. Michael Domeier heads a crew of scientists that venture to some of the known shark hangouts off the coast of Baja California, hoping to capture and tag these dangerous predators. The series combines action and science, as the crew tries to haul the beasts on to a specialized platform that can lift the 6,000-pound sharks out of the water, and then performs a variety of tests.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This blend of outdoor excitement and educational TV will likely appeal to the armchair adventurer, looking for a few thrills when the scientists and cameramen dive into the water alongside the fearsome sharks. But that’s only half of the show -- the rest of it provides some in-depth discussion about the lives of sharks, including what they eat, how they hunt, and where they mate.

Actor Paul Walker has signed on as a deckhand, to handle whatever grunt work needs to get done, but he plays a minor role in the show. The real stars are shark-expert Domeier, who shares his vast knowledge of the beasts, and of course the sharks themselves, which get plenty of screen time in stunning underwater photography. Still, after a while, the basic pattern of catch, tag and release, can start to seem repetitive; at it’s heart, this show is watching fisherman at work, a job that is known for its long stretches of tedium.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about marine biologists. Do you think studying great white sharks looks dangerous or exciting, or both? Would you want to jump into the water with these deadly predators? Is there are less dangerous way to study them?

  • Why do you think actor Paul Walker is there? What does he bring to the mission, other than a recognizable face for the cameras?

TV details

Cast:Paul Walker
Network:National Geographic Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Expedition Great White was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 17 year old Written bySBWriter December 4, 2010

It should be cancelled - unnecessary mistreatment of the sharks

This show glorifies the mishandling of these sharks unnecessarily for sensationa-listic purposes of the show. They are acting like cowboys out there while literally shewing off a legitimate long-term Mexican scientist who tags the sharks of Guadalupe on a regular basis without all the showmanship and drama created for this program. Lastly, there is a well known shark there by the name of Lucy who has been tagged by them and now -NOW- has a broken tail. This show has to stop and is certainly not a responsible display for any aged kid or adult.

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