In Harm's Way

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
In Harm's Way TV Poster Image
Eye-opening series spotlights dangerous jobs.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series celebrates the courage and dedication of people in potentially dangerous careers and demonstrates how many of them put their lives on the line to ensure others' safety. People often discuss their emotions surrounding the danger inherent in their jobs. The series highlights both men and women, including some who fill jobs not traditionally associated with their gender, like a female Coast Guard helicopter pilot.


Depending on the featured job, episodes can include shots of things like bull riders being tossed from broncos, landmines exploding, and war scenes. In one segment about Coast Guard rescues, a plane's crashed wreckage is shown while rescuers confirm that there are no survivors.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that because this reality series spotlights people who do dangerous jobs like landmine clearance, wild animal rescue, and war photography, there's lots of real-life drama and peril involved. Much of it is predictably played up for effect -- as well as some emotion, with the featured folks discussing how the danger and stress of their jobs affects them and their families. It's too intense -- and probably a little boring -- for very young viewers, but families with older kids will gain a new respect for these hardworking individuals.

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What's the story?

Reality series IN HARM'S WAY chronicles the work of men and women who perform dangerous jobs like bull riding, landmine clearance, and Coast Guard rescues. Each episode centers on a new occupation, with cameras following the subjects both at work and at home to show viewers what their work entails -- and how it affects them both physically and emotionally.

Is it any good?

While there's little to make this series stand out in an increasingly crowded field of similar shows like Ice Road Truckers and Dirty Jobs, it does a good job of spotlighting the courageous work the featured folks do. Viewers will gain insight into the training and devotion it takes to risk your life because of a passion for what you do -- and, in some cases, for the continued safety of others.

By its nature, In Harm's Way doesn't shy away from showing drama and emotion when they exist, and the dangerous jobs mean that you can expect some scenes of injury or catastrophe. In a segment focusing on Coast Guard rescues, for instance, a plane's wreckage is visible while a rescuer reports that there are no survivors. But, that aside, In Harm's Way is a fine choice for families with older kids who are curious about the jobs people do.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how shows like these increase our awareness of the world around us. Were any of the feature jobs ones that you didn't know about? What did you learn about them and the people who do them? Do any of these jobs interest you? What kind of job would you like to do? How important is it for you to help people in your work? What other occupations exist to help others? What other aspects of a job are important to you?

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 5, 2008
  • Cast: Hunter Ellis
  • Network: CW
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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