Hollywood Science

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Hollywood Science TV Poster Image
Series separates special F/X fact from fiction.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Viewers get a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the science behind the entertainment industry.

Violence & Scariness

Gunshots, explosions, and vehicle crashes are common in clips from movies and TV shows.

Sexy Stuff

The video clips act as teasers for the selected movies and TV shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this investigative docuseries helps decipher which parts of movies and TV shows are complete Hollywood fiction and which are rooted in fact. The series is lots of fun for both parents and kids, as long as younger viewers can handle the action-packed scenes of explosions, vehicle crashes, and gun violence from the featured movies and shows (the clips are brief but plentiful).

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What's the story?

Investigative docuseries HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE examines both the process behind Hollywood special effects and the inspirations for weapons, tools, and vehicles as yet unheard of in real life. Each episode focuses on one group of items, including amazing gadgets and futuristic vehicles. Using video clips from movies and TV shows, the series shows the effects in action and explains which parts are based in fact -- and which are pure imagination. For example, one episode focused on the high-tech spy tools used by characters in movies like True Lies and The Bourne Identity. Experts showed that quick-acting biological weapons (as seen on 24) are a plausible current concern, that retinal scanners used to monitor a person's movements (Minority Report) are a future possibility, that implanted microchips storing a person's personal information (Bourne Identity) have only small hurdles to overcome before being a viable option, and that tracking devices are in fact not impervious to factors like crowds or a building's infrastructure (Enemy of the State).

Is it any good?

If you have an inquiring mind when it comes to what you see on screen, Hollywood Science will captivate you almost as much as the action films themselves. And if your kids and tweens can handle the brief, action-packed clips from some series and movies that might be a little too old for them, they'll probably enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at how Hollywood puts on a show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about media special effects. How do special effects change a movie or TV show? Does the change always make the production better? How important are the effects to the show's or movie's overall feel? How can effects change the actors' appearance? What about the realism of violence? Do shows with high-quality effects have a stronger impact on viewers? Why or why not? What are some of the best effects you've seen? The worst? How have technological advances changed the entertainment industry?

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