Parents' Guide to

Invention Nation

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Green docuseries is educational but one-sided.

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Invention Nation's premise is intriguing, and its subject matter is both timely and worthwhile -- but getting tweens and teens to tune in is likely to be a hard sell unless they already have an independent interest in green technology. As documentaries go, this one's no-frills style is pretty bland and lacks a lot of the bells and whistles (narrative continuity, CGI effects, etc.) that make others more universally entertaining.

But the show's main drawback is that it rarely offers details on the featured products' costs, so viewers are left in the dark about whether such earth-friendly alternatives are really feasible for them. (Auto fuel from used vegetable oil is free, to be sure, but how much does the conversion kit cost to install, and what kind of maintenance is required? This obvious omission gives the series a commercial feel that detracts from its overall reliability. But in the end, viewers who do watch will be hard-pressed to avoid rethinking their own energy consumption and its eventual effect on the planet, which in and of itself is a positive lesson learned.

TV Details

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