A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show's general message is that it takes guts -- and brains -- to survive in the wild. But the couple's dynamic also sends a subtle message that men are better equipped for said survival than women.
Positive Role Models
Although Myke is clearly the leader, he and Ruth work well as a team and don't tend to get mired down in disagreements. But Ruth has a habit of crying or screaming when she feels like she's in danger (behavior Myke refers to as "girliness"). It makes her look weak by comparison.
Violence & Scariness
The couple carries a machete, which they use for hunting and, if necessary, self-defense against predators. There's some blood when they skin the animals they kill.
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Occasional use of words like "hell" or "damn." Rare instances of stronger swearing (typically in moments of stress) are bleeped.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that series stars Myke and Ruth Hawke use real teamwork to deal with real danger in this show about survival in the wild -- even though a camera crew is standing just a few feet away. That said, Myke never takes unnecessary risks, and he makes sure that Ruth understands the things he's asking her to do. A few of their survival tricks aren't for the faint of heart, particularly the steps they have to take to track down -- and kill -- their dinner, which often involves a bit of blood. There's also some mild swearing ("hell," "damn," etc.) and occasional bleeped stronger language.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to look at Man, Woman, Wild without comparing it to other shows like it -- and, at least in the case of Man vs. Wild, it doesn't quite measure up. Yes, Man, Woman, Wild tries to do something different by injecting a married-couple dynamic into the whole here's-what-you-do-so-you-don't-die formula. But it also makes Myke's wife, Ruth (an accomplished and intelligent woman who provides most of the show's researchy tidbits about the various locations they're living in) look like a crying, screaming ... well, girl.
At least, that's how a reflective Myke describes it at the end of one episode, when they're finally floating away from danger on a makeshift raft through the Amazon rainforest. "Despite all her girliness -- which I love," he stresses to the camera, "when it came right down to it, she was tough as woodpecker lips. And that made me love her just that much more." He meant it as a compliment, and it's actually a powerful turning point between a husband and wife who clearly have a newfound respect for each another. But equating Ruth's "girliness" with weakness kind of ruins the moment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.