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 Lore, based on a podcast, looks at real historical incidents that have some type of link with folklore, myth, or urban legends. Viewers may be more interested in history after watching, particularly in the topics covered on the show. However, since much of the subject matter is dark and creepy, this may be a mixed blessing and may make parents reconsider allowing tweens and younger to watch. There's plenty of spooky imagery that may disturb younger viewers, such as historical drawings of people who were buried alive, realistic images of a man hanging from a bridge by a noose, graphics illustrating historical tests to see if people were really dead, like sticking needles underneath a toenail. Reenactments show occasional blood and injuries. However, if your kids' interest leans toward the spooky, this may be a fun watch for families with teens.
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What's the story?
Based on the popular podcast of the same name, LORE digs into the odd and creepy in history. How did a raging family case of tuberculosis lead to the most well-documented vampire hunt in historical America? When a 19th-century Irishman believed that a fairy changeling had been substituted for his wife, what happened next? Hosted by creator Aaron Mahnke, LORE (the show) uses dramatic reenactments, historical images, and animation to explore the point at which reality meets myth.
Is it any good?
Arresting in an educational TV kind of way, this series exists in the place where the Venn diagram for "creepy," "historical," and "interesting" intersects. New viewers may not even realize the show is built on the bones of a podcast, also named Lore, also hosted by Mahnke, who narrates here (in a slightly robotic tone that may make more than one viewer question whether it's a person or AI giving the skinny on Houdini and lobotomies). And the show's subject material translates well to a visual medium, particularly when historical images make Mahnke's anecdotes come vividly alive.
The show is a little less effective during some of the reenactments, which have the same slightly cheesy air TV reenactments are generally known for. They also drag on in some episodes: A man's family members each die slowly of tuberculosis before we get to the point of one episode, that corpses were exhumed in order to check if they were undead. Did we really need to see each member coughing bloody messes into handkerchiefs to get the point that he was grief-stricken? No matter -- Lore is great viewing for people who like to mesmerize (or alienate) people at cocktail parties with sinister chatter about weird happenings, even if it drags at some points.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Lore's appeal. How is it different from a horror movie or a documentary that focuses on a more common historical subject, like a war or an important new invention?
Why do people like stories about death, dying, torture, illness, and other "unpleasant" subjects? What is interesting about these subjects?
Do you listen to the podcast this series is based on? If you like this show, will you like the podcast, and vice versa? Do you know of any other podcasts that became TV shows?
For kids who love spooky stuff
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