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 it's easy to get emotionally attached to these adorable furry creatures, so if disaster strikes (and it may), it can be pretty sad. Even though the stars are animals, voice-over narration explains their thought processes and assigns meaning to their sometimes-cruel actions. Parents may find themselves starting the "birds and bees" conversation after mating scenes or explaining nature's "survival of the fittest." Some scenes with predatory animals can be a little scary for young viewers.
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What's the story?
Meet reality TV's newest stars -- the Whiskers family. Led by a domineering matriarch, this gang of about 30 struggles to survive their surroundings (and each other) in Africa's Kalahari Desert. The Whiskers are like a lot of other reality TV subjects. But what's unique about them is that they're actually foot-tall, two-pound meerkats, whose lives were the focus of a 10-year Cambridge University study. Narrated by Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Animal Planet's MEERKAT MANOR introduces audiences to these feisty desert residents and their social hierarchy.
Is it any good?
Meerkat Manor is the story of a family's reliance on each other to survive the perils of their surroundings. The series offers an educational view into the wild and is a great choice for family viewing.
The matriarch, Flower, wears a radio collar that allows researchers to track the gang's movements. Flower maintains a dominant reign over the group and uses intimidation and force to ensure submission from her relatives, most of whom are her direct descendants. At the heart of it all, the meerkat pups add comic relief as they put their babysitters to the test with their playful antics.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the circle of life and the way things work in the wild. What must the meerkats do to survive? What challenges do they face, and how do they overcome them? Families can also talk about the social hierarchy within the family. How does Flower assert control over her subordinates? Are her actions truly for the good of the majority of the family?
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