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 series featuring a group of miners trying to find gold in Alaska contains some salty language (the strongest words bleeped), and arguments sometimes lead to pushing, shoving, and threats of more violence. Contracting equipment logos (Caterpillar, etc.) are visible. The men are driven by money, but the show also reveals positive messages about loyalty, staying positive, and working hard to realizing a dream.
What's the story?
GOLD RUSH (previously titled Gold Rush: Alaska) features a crew of down-on-their luck miners battling the Alaskan wilderness for gold. Headed up by Todd Hoffman and his father Jack, the six crewmen (including Greg Remsburg, Jim Thurber, James Harness, and Dave Turin) spend the summer months digging for gold in Porcupine Creek, Alaska using heavy equipment to seek their fortune, while exploring mining opportunities in the Klondike. Throughout it all, they must cope with seriously injured crewmen, licensing and financial woes, broken equipment, and competition created by veteran miner Dakota Fred Hurt. The stakes are high, but the Hoffmans are committed to finding enough gold to make it worthwhile.
Is it any good?
The story told here is reminiscent of the gold rush stories of the past, and includes a similar cast of characters: the cash-strapped family risking everything for fortune, the loyal team of miners that sticks with them, and the devious claim jumpers who want to cash in on their spoils. Also adding to the drama is the relentless power of the elements, which in Alaska translates to intolerably cold weather, hard, frozen soil, and precarious terrain.
Despite its connection to the past, the series shows how truly backbreaking and dangerous gold mining is. It also shows, despite the help of computers, large machinery, and other modern-day equipment, that there are no guarantees when it comes to finding gold. As a result, you can't help but wonder why these men keep doing what they are doing, despite the many mishaps and failed mining attempts they experience along the way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why shows like this are appealing. What makes this show different from other "dirty jobs" shows? How do you think producers find folks entertaining enough to carry a show like this?
Talk about the history of the Alaskan Gold Rush. Did you know that miners who went to Alaska were called "stampeders"? Or that women played a role in this movement? What has the overall impact been of the Gold Rush on the United States?
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