A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers can learn how American products like Campbell's soup, Sam Adams beer, and Yankee Candles are made.
Celebrates the ingenuity and strong work ethic of the American manufacturing industry.
Positive Role Models
Ratzenberger expresses respect and admiration for the employees of each company. He is also quick to jump in and work at each location.
Violence & Scariness
Some factory scenes include shots of welding or hot ovens, but workers always wear ample protective gear.
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Products & Purchases
The featured companies (Gibson Guitars, Harley-Davidson, Campbell's, Airstream, Titleist, Brooks Brothers, Hallmark, Serta, etc.) get lots of publicity, but not really in a commercial way -- instead, the focus is always on the quality and craftsmanship of the products shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasionally the series highlights beer manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the brisk pace of this documentary-style series (each 30-minute episode covers three different factories) makes it a great choice to share with grade-schoolers -- or any other viewers with short attention spans for educational programming. Factory tours and easy-to-understand explanations of the manufacturing process are both informative and entertaining. Kids will be especially intrigued by episodes that highlight products they're familiar with -- like Necco candies or Crayola crayons. Viewers of all ages are likely to gain a new respect for the hard work, ingenuity, and craftsmanship that allow the featured factories to turn out their products.
Is It Any Good?
There's a lot to like about this enjoyable series, not the least of which is Ratzenberger's natural ease in his role as host. His demeanor with the workers he meets is so effortless and respectful that watching him interact with them is like being a fly on the wall during a conversation between friends. He single-handedly succeeds in giving the series a personal touch that's often lacking in onscreen peers like How It's Made.
Made in America has an obvious educational angle -- you learn a lot watching how common items from salt to cookware are produced. But viewers of all ages also benefit from the respect the show pays to the hard work, craftsmanship, and ingenuity of blue-collar American workers, whose pride in their work shows in the products they create. Family-friendly to the hilt, Made in America's brisk pace caters nicely to the shorter attention spans of young kids and tweens. That said, teens and adults who like to know all the nitty-gritty details of the manufacturing process may feel like the show doesn't go deep enough.
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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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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