A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Life Below Zero is a reality show set in rural Alaska and features some gritty hunting scenes (including bloody images of fish and mammals getting gutted and skinned), as well as some strong language ("hell," "damn," "bastard," "bleeped" curse words), and cigarette and cigar smoking. Outside of this, it conveys positive messages about the personal satisfaction that comes with being self-sufficient, and the importance of respecting the environment.
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What's the story?
LIFE BELOW ZERO is a reality series that features six people who have chosen to live their lives in the remotest areas around the Arctic Circle region of Alaska. It stars Chip Hailstone, who lives with his wife Agnes, an Inupiat Eskimo and their children in Noovik; Erik Salitan, a registered wilderness guide from Wiseman; and Sue Aikens, the sole resident of the Kavik River Camp. It also features Andy and Kate Bassich, who live in the Yukon territory. In a region where death is a big part of life, and where residents must constantly be looking for food, fending off predatory animals, and enduring hostile elements, these folks work hard to build a self-sufficient lifestyle that they want to enjoy living.
Is it any good?
Life below Zero offers an interesting look at the lives of people who have chosen to live away from the modern world in order to build a life in and around the Alaskan wilderness. It shows how things like money, electricity, and neighbors are commodities that some folks willingly do without in order live in this rugged habitat. For some, this life is also a way to return to indigenous traditions.
Interviews with these Alaskans underscore how potentially dangerous this life can be, especially when confronted with food shortages, wild animals, and unexpected mishaps while working on day-to-day tasks. They also note how resilient they have to be in order to live -- and thrive -- in this kind of environment. Their lives will certainly seem to unique to many, but they show viewers how some are willing to risk the dangers of the Alaskan back country in exchange for a life full of peace and natural wonder.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people make the decision to live away from modern society. What are some of the media stereotypes about people who choose to live this way? Does this reality show challenge these generalizations?
Why do you think these folks agreed to be featured in this series? Is it to call attention to their way of life? Or is it for other reasons?
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