Into the Unknown with Josh Bernstein

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Into the Unknown with Josh Bernstein TV Poster Image
Appealing host turns history into a fun adventure.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The entire show is dedicated to explaining cultural differences and interesting details about life in ancient societies.

Violence & Scariness

Some episodes discuss the role of combat and violence in ancient societies. Bernstein also demonstrates some techniques, sometimes using swords, spears, and other old-school weapons.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some discussion about the role of wine and other alcoholic drinks in ancient cultures.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this family-friendly show teaches history in a fun, accessible way. Viewers will enjoy tagging along on likable host Josh Bernstein's globetrotting adventures; the fact that he's also delivering a fairly comprehensive lecture on a broad range of topics -- ranging from archeology and sociology to anatomy and biology -- will probably go unnoticed by kids but be welcomed by adults. There's no swearing, sex, or drinking (though alcohol is discussed in a historical context). Bernstein sometimes demonstrates fighting techniques with weapons like swords and spears, but no one gets hurt.

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What's the story?

Josh Bernstein, the namesake host of INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH JOSH BERNSTEIN, could pop up anywhere. In one episode of this entertaining, educational travel series, he circles the Mediterranean, learning how ancient Roman gladiators lived and died. In the next, he's in Northern Peru, studying the long-extinct Chachapoya tribe. Then it's off to Mali to uncover the fabled history of Timbuktu, once one of Africa's most important trade centers. He's joined on these trips by professors, historians, and local guides who offer plenty of insights on the topic of the day.

Is it any good?

The series covers an extensive range of interesting topics and exotic destinations. In just the first season, Bernstein and his crew visited 15 countries on five continents. He's been practicing these travel guide skills for some time, having already hosted Digging for the Truth -- a similar show on the History Channel -- for three seasons. That series was focused on archaeological mysteries, while Into the Unknown has more of a historical angle, but Bernstein makes both series an entertaining way to learn about the world's more remote spots and history's less-well-known chapters.

He's a likable host and makes for an appealing travel companion. He obviously enjoys these adventures, and he seems truly interested in learning more about the people and places he visits. Bernstein's curiosity and thirst for knowledge makes his show a great way for viewers -- especially younger ones -- to learn some fun facts about history.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about history. Do you think watching shows like this one is a good way to learn new things? Does Josh Bernstein make you want to learn more on your own? If so, where would you start? Each episode of this show covers lots of interesting details about one specific topic -- does that make it hard to get a basic understanding of the subject? Can a show like this replace traditional education, or should it be considered a supplement to classes and books?

TV details

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