Going Wild

 
Divorce, addiction get treatment in nature trek reality.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Underscores the idea that turning to nature will help you find ways to cope and resolve life's problems. Themes range from marital problems and divorce to helping troubled children. The dangers associated with outdoor adventure are also noted. 

Positive role models

Tim Medvetz is a former Hell's Angels member. He's rough around the edges, but his goal is to help people. Other folks are dealing with problems ranging from troubled marriages to addiction.

Violence

Knives are occasionally visible. Warnings about being attacked by snakes, cougars, bears, and other wild animals are frequent. Adventures include crossing dangerous terrain and climbing steep mountains, repelling down canyon walls, etc. Few injuries are sustained, but animal carcasses are visible. 

Sex

Marital relationships are discussed, but nothing sexual. 

Language

Occasional curses like "s--t" are bleeped. 

Consumerism

Logos for First Ascent outdoor gear is prominently and consistently visible on clothing and equipment. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References are made to drinking, drug use, and addiction when talking about people's personal lives. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Going Wild is an intervention series that demonstrates how nature can help people think differently about their personal problems. There are some positive messages about respecting nature and making productive life changes, as well as warnings about the dangers that exist in the wild. Watch for the occasional bleeped curse word ("s--t"), and personal stories containing mature themes like divorce and addiction. The logo for First Ascent outdoor gear is prominently featured. Older tweens might be interested, but it's not really intended for younger viewers. 

What's the story?

GOING WILD is a reality series featuring ordinary people going on extreme outdoor adventures in order to make positive changes in their lives. Each episode features a person or couple who is struggling with serious personal or relationship issues. After sharing their stories, they are surprised by former Hell's Angel and outdoorsman Tim Medvetz, who whisks them away on a grueling three-day outdoor expedition through some of the country's must rugged areas. From trekking across the Moab desert to climbing Mt. St. Helen's, Medvetz pushes folks to face tough natural obstacles in order to help them rethink their lives, and rediscover the strength they need to make positive changes at home.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

From helping a married couple rekindle their relationship to inspiring a young man to develop a better relationship with his family, Going Wild sends the message that turning to nature is a constructive way of finding answers to life's problems. But while the outdoor experience is used as a way of highlighting some of the truths behind people's behaviors, it also underscores some of the real dangers associated with it, including animal attacks and the risk of falling and getting hurt without any way of getting immediate help when necessary. 

It's an interesting combination, but one that feels a bit awkward at times, especially when participants' insights and triumphs are interrupted by warnings about predators that can potentially kill them during the process. The simplistic feedback that Medvetz offers throughout isn't particularly constructive, either.  Folks who like nature-themed reality will enjoy the various locations and natural wonders showcased here, but may not find the show as inspirational as it claims to be. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about intervention shows. Why do people choose to air their personal problems and efforts to fix them on TV? Do you think that the process they go through to make things better is real? Are shows like these meant to educate audiences, or entertain them?

  • Can turning to nature really help you solve your problems? Why or why not? 

TV details

Cast:Tim Medvetz
Network:NatGeoWild
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Going Wild was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • 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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