I Shouldn't Be Alive TV Poster Image

I Shouldn't Be Alive

Gripping tales of survival for sturdy families.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

People are shown making mistakes, like not using safety equipment, but the consequences are obvious.


Dramatized scenes of intense injuries, accidents, and occasional threats by people or animals. Some images of real-life injuries.

Not applicable

Occasional "hell" or "damn."


Some brands or logos visible, like outdoor clothing insignias or vehicle names.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this riveting docudrama series tells real-life horror stories through dramatizations and interviews. Stories involve near-death experiences like being seriously injured, trapped, or attacked by an animal. The emotional intensity of the tales, including discussion of never seeing one's family again, might be too much for the youngest viewers.

What's the story?

In I SHOULDN'T BE ALIVE, people tell stories of survival almost too incredible to believe. Through a combination of dramatizations and interviews with actual participants, this gripping docudrama series recreates near-death experiences like a shark encounter, a kidnapping, and a mountain climbing expedition gone very wrong. One episode tells the story of two brothers whose hike in the Utah canyons turns iinto 72 hours of hell. When one brother accidentally lets go of the other's hand, he falls into freezing water and shatters his shin bone. As the other brother attempts to climb out of the canyon for help, he battles darkness, icy water, fire, exhaustion, and guilt, while the injured brother fights frostbite, pain, and delerium.

Is it any good?


The survivors' stories are so compelling that they overshadow the intrinsically corny dramatizations. Hearing the real people recount their experience, their voices full with emotion and disbelief, is enough to keep viewers glued to the set, eyes wide and hearts beating fast.

Both the reenactments and the photos from the real incidents can be grizzly. The emotional intensity may be too much for young children to handle, but depending on their sensitivity, tweens and teens may enjoy watching. The show is an option for families looking for something to watch together that's both exciting and devoid of sex, drugs, and guns.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about making choices under difficult circumstances. Would kids have made the same choices as the people in the show? How do your decisions change when you're under extreme stress? If you were physically hurt, how would you keep your mind off your pain? What do you think people learn from experiences like these?

TV details

Premiere date:October 28, 2005
Cast:Qarie Marshall
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of I Shouldn't Be Alive was written by

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow May 7, 2012

Fantastic, but occasionally disturbing

Next to Lost Tapes, this is my favorite Animal Planet TV show ever. It is insanely gripping and even makes me cover my eyes at some parts. The deaths/injuries are gruesome and there is some language, but the characters are great role models as they always find the bravery and courage to stay alive. This will be an iffy choice for young tweens, but older kids will surely watch it every day they can.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byanna1999 July 18, 2012

best programme ever

LOVE THIS SHOW SOOOOO MUCH violent with some situations where the characters face death all about real life situations that happened to people being reanacted by actors. scary sometimes involving sharks and animals
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old June 19, 2014

Awesome but bloody

This is the best reality show I've ever watched, it's heartbreaking but beautiful! If your sensitive to blood and body tissue, torn flesh, don't watch it!! It's very violent. It is really good but if you let your little kid around 5 yrs old watch it, your gonna expect to have a wet bed and child with blood curdling screams yeah I'm talking bout nightmares. But otherwise it's really good!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models