Parents' Guide to

History 101

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Smart, engrossing history series explores variety of topics.

History 101 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Feminism Episode Warning

The entire series is really good. The Feminism episode does show topless women marching, so I would recommend that episode for an older audience. But the rest is probably ok for ages 10+.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (4):

History lessons can be scintillating to dusty-dry depending on who's doing the telling, but with its innovative storytelling and bright graphics this history series definitely veers towards "fascinating." Archival footage is, of course, a mainstay of just about any retelling of the past, but History 101 has a way of packaging and narrating said footage, and bringing its points home with great infographics, that brings it to life. Episode 2, "The Space Race," has plenty of the sort of shots of rockets firing up and grinning astronauts that you'll have seen before; you probably haven't, however, seen a bar graph showing how low the temperatures are in space while a narrator calmly informs you that in space "your blood will boil, or at least start to vaporize, because there's no pressure keeping it a liquid."

In episode 1, "Fast Food," we're told that KFC was the first chain to really rev up a system of franchises and thus set into motion a chain of supply and demand that's partially responsible for climate change, as we watch a vintage pancake-making machine turn out stacks of hotcakes and cartoon cows emitting green clouds of methane. It's eye-catching. It's interesting. And it's also a little disturbing, as History 101 shows us the connections between fast food and factory farming, car culture and Middle East unrest, and plastics and the billions of pounds of waste overwhelming the earth. It's tough, smart, real stuff, and you'll get smarter by watching, without ever regretting your time investment.

TV Details

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