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 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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