A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Interesting and detailed history lessons on how some of the most well-known novelty items were invented, plus a look at the science behind them. Also includes some fascinating case studies of economic theories like supply and demand.
Emphasis on innovation, creativity, and perseverance.
Positive Role Models
Features innovative founders and inventors who overcome the odds to achieve success.
The majority of the people interviewed and featured are White, with a few notable expectations. The first episode, for example, features the Black inventor of the Super Soaker water gun and the Nerf Gun.
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Violence & Scariness
References the invention of a stick made to beat people by a man who identified as a Nazi. Shows footage of Nazi rallies. Talks about injuries people suffered while using various products. Discusses flight turbulence and references people screaming during flights. Spoofs and debunks myth of the Life cereal spokeskid, Mikey, dying from combining Pop Rocks and soda.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief clips of closeup of body parts while two people are kissing, clearly leading to sex. Repeated sexual references while discussing the invention of the water bed. References Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunnies, who are also shown posing on the beds. Couples shown in bed, some without clothes but covered by sheets. Sexual innuendos around being wet.
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Bleeped-out "assh--e," "bulls--t," and "f--k," plus "sons of bitches," "crap," "dump," "wet dream." Extended discussion of the invention of the toilet that includes lots of toilet humor and language.
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Products & Purchases
Entire series is centered on popular products and brands from the past.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are references to alcohol like boxed wine and to a man sitting at a bar when he has an idea. References adults with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth and holding beers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Inventions That Changed History offers humorous, interesting history lessons on how well-known novelty items were invented, plus a look at the science behind many of them. While most of the discussion is light-hearted, mature themes do pop up unexpectedly. There are references to Nazis and footage of their rallies. The show talks about injuries people suffered while using various products and debunks myths that involve people dying. Sexual content includes discussion of the water bed where a brief clip of closeup body parts while two people are kissing is shown, clearly leading to sex. There are also references to Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunnies as well as couples shown in bed, some without clothes but covered by sheets. That episode ends with a sexual innuendo around being wet. Extended discussion of the invention of the toilet includes lots of toilet humor and language. Other language includes bleeped-out "assh--e," "bulls--t," and "f--k," plus "sons of bitches," "crap," "dump," "wet dream."
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.