Live Free or Die

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Live Free or Die TV Poster Image
Docuseries offers peek into living-off-the-land subculture.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There's a tone of respect toward those who choose to leave modern civilization and live off the land.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some choose to live off the land after divorcing and suffering financial problems or to cope with troubled childhoods. Others want a more simple life without modern-day pressures or debt.  


Rifles, knives, arrows, and axes are used to hunt. Dangerous traps are used to kill animals. Dead animals are shown being dragged, skinned, butchered, cooked, and eaten. Ants are shown swarming animal carcasses. On occasion someone gets chased by a predator. 


Some frontiersmen enjoy hunting naked. Bare backsides are slightly visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Live Free or Die showcases the lives of people who have chosen to leave modern civilization and return to nature to live off the land. Sensitive viewers may find it tough to watch the many scenes of animals being hunted and dead creatures caught in traps, being skinned, and butchered. Weapons (rifles, arrows, axes, knives) also are visible. There's some brief non-sexual nudity (bare buttocks). Topics such as divorce and troubled childhoods are briefly discussed. 

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What's the story?

LIVE FREE OR DIE is a docuseries about five individuals who are choosing to leave modern life behind in exchange for a primitive and natural lifestyle. It features Colbert, a former financial analyst and expert trapper who left a suburban lifestyle for the Georgia wetlands after divorcing and going bankrupt; Gabriel, who lives a nomadic life between California's mountains and coast; and Thorn, a former school teacher who is building a life in a remote area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Also living in the mountains are Tony and Amelia, who work hard to maintain their minimalist Appalachian home by working the land and foraging for food. They all abide by a code that rejects the conveniences of modern civilization and willingly struggle to find food, earn money for basic expenses, and cope with a lot of discomforts to live a life that they consider to be truly free. Throughout each episode, information is given about the modern way foods and other resources are processed and controlled. 

Is it any good?

Live Free or Die explores a lifestyle trend called "rewilding," which is the purposeful attempt of humans to "undomesticate" themselves and return to the wild. It highlights the various challenges the folks who choose this life face every day, including surviving the elements with minimal supplies, finding enough protein to sustain them every day, and battling illness and infection without the help of modern medicine. Fighting off predators also is a concern. 

Some may find some of the things they do to survive, including cooking and eating road kill that's a few days old and using large rocks to smash pack rats to eat for breakfast, a little disturbing. But other viewers will admire the different ways in which these individuals choose to live by this code, no matter how difficult it becomes. Regardless of what you may feel about their efforts, the show offers an interesting look at the lives of some unique people. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the "rewilding" lifestyle is about. Are reality TV shows that feature individuals living outside of the mainstream making this trend more popular? Do you think they accurately portray the benefits and risks involved with living this way?  

  • What do people gain when they choose to reject their modern lives? What do they lose? Could you or your family become undomesticated (and be happy about it)?

TV details

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Themes & Topics

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