Man vs. Wild

Common Sense Media says

How not to die in the wilderness -- tweens and up.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Grylls teaches responsible behavior in the outdoors. Includes information about endangered species.

Positive role models

Overall, Grylls is upbeat, positive, and resourceful. That said, some of the actions he takes in the name of survival aren't the kinds of things you'd want kids imitating at home -- self-inflicted enemas (in the interests of hydration), for example.

Violence

Some moderate peril; encounters with dangerous animals.

Sex

None; some non-sexual nudity -- with genitals blurred but butt exposed.

Language

Occasional "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this riveting adventure show depicts a trained survival expert escaping from dangerous natural locations. Viewers see him attempting dangerous maneuvers while describing the reasons for his choices, as well as the proper technique for achieving success. His actions are never rash, though at times he takes risks to demonstrate something particularly interesting, like how to escape quicksand. Occasionally Grylls appears naked, but his genitals are always blurred and the nudity is never sexual.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In MAN VS. WILD, survival expert Bear Grylls helicopter drops into some of the world's harshest terrain and then fights his way back to safety. With only a few basic instruments, Grylls demonstrates survival techniques and teaches skills like finding water in the desert, climbing out of quicksand, catching fish without a pole, and fighting hypothermia after falling into a frozen lake. The idea is to provide help to adventure tourists who might find themselves stranded in inhospitable circumstances and would otherwise die or create a search-and-rescue nightmare. Throughout Grylls' adventures, he relates recent real-life tragedies of people stuck in similar situations.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The combination of gorgeous locales -- like Utah's Moab Desert, the Costa Rican rainforest, and the Swiss Alps -- and Grylls' considerable British charm make Man vs. Wild a pleasure to watch. Whether an average tourist could recreate some of his feats (his first name is Bear, after all) is disputable, but it's certainly nail-biting to watch him scale a slippery desert wall and swim across the swift Colorado River. Throughout each gnarly adventure, Grylls is able to narrate his experience surprisingly well.

Tweens and up will enjoy Grylls' adventures, though parents may want to do a reality check with younger viewers to make sure they know that Grylls is highly trained -- and that kids shouldn't try any of his techniques, even for fun, without checking with an adult first (frying an egg on a rock is probably harmless, but catching a snake with a rock and a stick, not so much).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dangerous situations. What's the scariest place that parents and kids have ever been in? Has there ever been a situation you wondered how you'd get out of? What did you do? Have you taken any training to prepare for dangerous situations (first aid, self-defense, wilderness training)? What would you do if you found yourself in one of the situations that Grylls demonstrates?

TV details

Cast:Bear Grylls
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Man vs. Wild was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague December 14, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Man vs. Wild

Great show! Not as good as Survivorman in my opinion, but still a fun, educational show to watch. He sure does bring spunk and energy, but some of his survival techniques seem pretty unnecessary, unless of course you need to be absolutly desperate.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written byh8realitytv April 18, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
Aside from all the unmentioned "assisantance" the guy gets, I too am disgusted by why animals must be killed for viewers entertainmentl. I am not a "PETA" lover, but seeing animals senselessly killed for ratings is disgusting. I do not see why discovery rates this show PG. It should be R or even X since the killings are real.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old February 6, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

AWESOME!

This show's pretty good. I like watching it and so does my brother.

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