Parents' Guide to

Inventions That Changed History

By Stephanie Morgan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Zany look at history of novelty items; some mature themes.

Inventions That Changed History TV show: Poster

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With popular comedians and actors weighing in on some of the silliest, yet most iconic, inventions of past decades, this is probably not the show you would expect from its name. Inventions That Changed History is a title much loftier than the show itself, which is filled with seemingly unending amounts of dad humor (so many puns) and silly segment introductions that will get kids laughing. The sarcastic and flippant tone often includes commentary on the times when these products debuted; one especially enjoyable section features comedians mocking the inventors of the Slip-n-Slide for pointing out that "girls can use it as well as boys!" Parents will geek out while watching with their kids, excitedly relaying how much they loved Pop Rocks and Super Soakers. Kids will love laughing at their parents' ridiculousness while occasionally learning something interesting; e.g. the inventor of both the Super Soaker and the Nerf Gun, Lonnie Johnson, was a Black man, and the original Mr. Potato Head toy used real potatoes.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with this kind of show, a more mature theme occasionally pops up without warning. Examples include the Nazi background of the inventor of Sea Monkeys and flashes of sex scenes while discussing the inception of the water bed. This is particularly disappointing considering the show's rare potential to entertain adults and kids alike.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: July 1, 2022
  • Network: Discovery+
  • Genre: Educational
  • Topics: STEM
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Last updated: December 1, 2022

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