Impact: Stories of Survival

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Impact: Stories of Survival TV Poster Image
Brace yourself for true tales of beating the odds.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Celebrates the strength of the human spirit and highlights the medical advances that help save victims' lives.


Video footage and dramatic re-enactments show victims getting hit by cars, scalded by hot water, cut by saws, and thrown from vehicles. Surgical scenes are sometimes graphic, too -- in one, a burn victim's dead skin is sanded off to the point of bleeding.


Occasional non-sexual partial nudity, usually in hospital scenes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality-based series includes video footage and re-enactments of life-threatening accidents -- including car crashes, avalanches, and power-tool mishaps. The injuries and treatment methods are sometimes shown in detailed close-ups (as when a burn victim's dead, blackened skin is forcefully sanded down), and computer images illustrate the effects on the victim's body. Interviews with family members can be emotional, and the victims themselves sometimes allude to feelings of depression during their recovery time. On the flip side, the series highlights how medical advances and the strength of the human spirit combine to overcome extensive injuries.

User Reviews

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Kid, 8 years old December 20, 2010

its kind of intense.

I love this show, my favorate episode is the one where a teenage skater bends his leg and finds himself at the brink of death!

What's the story?

By telling stories of men and women who experienced horrific accidents -- and lived to tell about it -- reality-based series IMPACT: STORIES OF SURVIVAL illustrates how easily life can change in an instant. Each episode introduces viewers to victims of life-threatening catastrophes like vehicle crashes, natural disasters, sporting mishaps, and burns. As they talk about their accidents, video footage and dramatic re-enactments illustrate their words and family members offer their emotional memories of the events. Doctors then explain the victims' extensive physical injuries, outlining the surgeries and various other treatments that were part of the patients' recovery and using computer graphics to show how bones and muscles responded to the forceful impact of the accidents. Throughout each episode, the victims talk honestly about how the traumatic experiences altered their lives.

Is it any good?

The series' intense nature and potential for graphic scenes of accidents and injuries means that it's not for the faint of stomach. In one episode, for example, a man is shown hurtling through the air after being hit by a race car; he's then run over as he lies motionless on the ground. In other segments, viewers see a man's charred, dead skin peeling off his burned body, and a victim of a speedboat accident talks about how his painful recovery led to a depression that made him wonder why he was still living.

It's important to know your kids' tolerance level for the emotions and physical trauma that accompany a powerful series like Impact: Stories of Survival. If they're able to handle the content, they (and you) will be impressed by the medical advancements and human determination that save accident victims' lives every day.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the technological advances that affect patients' chance of recovery. How has science helped doctors better understand the human body? How does that improve their ability to diagnose and treat injuries and illness? What procedures allow doctors to pinpoint and treat a patient's problem? What role does a positive outlook play in a successful recovery from injury or illness? Is it easier or harder to watch graphic injury footage in this context than it is when you see it in primetime dramas? Why?

TV details

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