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 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.
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What's the story?
In MAN, WOMAN, WILD, married couple Myke and Ruth Hawke are dropped into extreme environments all over the world and, with cameras rolling, must claw their way back to civilization. While Ruth is a former news anchor and field journalist with little survival experience, Myke is a military-trained survival expert who plans to teach her everything he knows. That includes the best ways to build a suitable shelter, hunt down dinner, and find the best route out of danger, among other things.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this show compares to others like it. What does Man, Woman, Wild do differently? Does having someone who isn't a trained survivalist along for the ride make it more dangerous? Does that, in turn, make it a more entertaining show? Why or why not?
How would you describe Myke and Ruth's dynamic as a couple? What role does each play in their various adventures? Who typically acts as the leader, and why? Does the fact that Myke and Ruth are married make any difference?
Does the show uphold or defy traditional stereotypes when it comes to men, women, and the way they act in dangerous situations?
For kids who love the wild
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