History's Lost & Found

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
History's Lost & Found TV Poster Image
Tales of famous artifacts are fun and educational.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This intriguing series puts a fun spin on history, giving viewers brief history lessons related to particular artifacts.

Violence

Historical footage and photos often depict violence like murders, explosions, and war scenes. Narration can be graphic as well and includes some gory details about people's deaths.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this captivating educational series offers a unique perspective on history by investigating legendary artifacts like Einstein's brain, the Lone Ranger's mask, and the world's first microwave. While the tales are both fun and informative, some of the show's subject matter (tales of murder, war scenes, and real-life disasters like the Challenger explosion) is too graphic for young kids.

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What's the story?

HISTORY'S LOST & FOUND offers viewers a lighthearted look at famous -- and infamous -- artifacts from the recent past, using their stories to simultaneously entertain and educate. Each 30-minute episode tells the tales of three unrelated items -- everything from the original copy of the Gettysburg Address to George Washington's teeth, Malcolm X's diary, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis' blood-stained dress. The narrator sets the scene, putting each object in context by describing its original time period and events related to it. Video footage and photographs illustrate the stories, and historical experts often weigh in, too. The item's specific history (and details of its eventual recovery) is also presented; when it's appropriate, the narrator adds amusing anecdotes and fun facts to further entertain viewers.

Is it any good?

History's Lost & Found is good family entertainment for tweens and up -- but the graphic nature of some stories makes it an iffy choice for young kids. Tales of murder, war, and disaster include historic video footage and photos that could be disturbing, as could heart-wrenching descriptions of real-life events. For example, in a story about Lizzie Borden the narrator details how a murderer used an ax to chop off her mother and father's heads, and the broken skull of one of the victims is shown.

So if your kids are sensitive, it might be a good idea to glance at each episode's topics in advance. But potential violence aside, the fast-paced series offers an unusually intriguing glimpse at history, so if your tweens can handle the tougher bits, they'll likely be as captivated by the show as you are.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the educational nature of shows like this one. What do you think the series' goal is? Does it succeed? Is it entertaining as well as educational? Which do you think it does better? Can shows like this be used as teaching tools? Also, what parts of history are most interesting to you? What artifacts would you like to see firsthand?

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