A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series uses food as a lens to view the United States' history and culture, including the impact Native Americans and the country's immigrants have made. The focus on home cooking and regional customs breaks down stereotypes about the country and encourages a respectful appreciation for the nation's diversity.
Positive Role Models
Oliver seeks to honor and be inspired by American national food culture, and treats the people he meets and the food he tries with respect and an open mind. His subjects are everyday people -- from grandmothers to former gang members to ranchers -- and some have inspiring stories to tell.
Violence & Scariness
Animals are shown being hunted, shot, killed, boiled, skinned, and/or plucked before being prepared for consumption. Guns are visible (and discharged). The impact of events like Hurricane Katrina and gang wars are discussed. One episode features graphic images of people fighting; bloody corpses and morgues filled with body bags are also briefly shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief references to women's chest sizes, Viagra, and sexual prowess. Animal and human genitals are occasionally discussed.
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Words like "hell" and "pissed" (the British term for the word "drunk") are audible. The word "s--t" is sometimes audible; "f--k" is bleeped. The "N" word is used in one episode.
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Products & Purchases
Occasionally logos for products like Poland Springs, Sunkist, Corona, Coca Cola, and American Airlines are slightly visible. Names of local eateries are also visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine is frequently served during meals. Oliver likes to try local cocktails; he often gets a little tipsy. Traditional hookahs and pipes are sometimes smoked; a food with natural hallucinogenic properties is sampled. One episode discusses the sale and consumption of illegal drugs in a negative light.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fun and informative reality series featuring British chef Jamie Oliver traveling the United States to learn about American regional cuisines touches on serious topics like gangs, drug use, and poverty. Mature kids and teens can learn a lot about the rich and varied role of food in American culture. Scenes of animals being slaughtered, while in context, may upset young or sensitive viewers, too. Drinking (beer, wine, cocktails) is frequent, and smoking of traditional pipes is visible. Brand logos are sometimes visible, but not prominently.
Is It Any Good?
The overall series, which was originally intended to introduce Brits to the diversity and uniqueness of American cuisine, takes a fascinating look at America's food heritage thanks to Oliver's willingness to explore how food reflects the country's history and its regional cultures. He also examines some of the darker issues that America is facing, including racism, gang violence, and a debilitating recession, and the way food is used to cope with some of these problems.
While it offers a great chance for British viewers to see that American cuisine goes beyond hot dogs and fast food, it also offers them interesting sociocultural lessons about the United States and the differences between the two countries. Meanwhile, Stateside viewers will also find themselves learning new things about America's regional dishes. Regardless of where you come from, watching this is an entertaining way to learn about the importance of regional foods in American culture.
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.