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 reality series features real people sharing their stories about life-or-death situations. Since the survivors are telling their own tales, there’s little doubt about the outcome -- though the details of these harrowing encounters with dangerous animals can be very dramatic. The incidents are often quite intense, but the reenactments are pretty tame, and young viewers may find the stories inspiring.
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What's the story?
Life can turn in an instant, and an ordinary day can suddenly become a survival situation. I’M ALIVE explains, in often harrowing detail, how regular people react when they're suddenly thrust into contact with dangerous animals, ranging from the tiny black widow spider to massive elephants. Each episode of the show includes detailed interviews with the victims, as well as reenactments of the incidents.
Is it any good?
It’s hard to beat the drama of real-world, life-threatening encounters with wild animals, but I'm Alive drains much of the excitement from the stories by stretching them out too long. Hearing someone talk about being gored by an elephant in a remote part of China is fascinating; listening to his entire life story -- including his school years, travels, marriage, and a tragic loss -- is unnecessary filler that detracts significantly from his story.
The show also sometimes exaggerates the stories' drama. For example, one reenactment shows a man trying to smuggle illegal anti-venom into the country to save his dying stepson from a poisonous spider bite. It's nail-biting adventure, but as he approaches Mexican customs, he’s suddenly accosted by security guards wielding machine guns! Did they find the contraband serum? No, he was just afraid that they would -- and the reenactment brings his fears to life. In reality, he passed through the checkpoint without incident. It feels like TV bait-and-switch, falsely creating action when nothing actually happened. This show would be better at half its length, sticking to the facts and cutting out the fluff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about survival. How do you think you'd react in a life-or-death situation? Do you think the people in these stories acted wisely, or did they make any iffy choices?
How do the encounters described here compare to dangerous incidents in fictional movies or TV shows? Are they just as exciting? Do they seem scarier and/or more exciting because they're true?