A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show’s overall message is one of peace, sharing, and respect. The tribesmen's observations also invite viewers to reflect on various aspects of American life.
Positive Role Models
The tribesmen spread a mission of peace and understanding. All of the Tannan ambassadors are aware of modern culture but actively choose a traditional island lifestyle. Their American hosts are warm and gracious but sometimes unintentionally infantalize their guests.
Violence & Scariness
War is discussed, but fighting is never shown. A visit to a military base features tanks, guns, and the firing of weapons.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to people having to look “sexy” in certain parts of the United States. The Tanna tribes’ native dress includes penis sheaths and exposes the men's chests, backs, and buttocks -- but this attire isn't intended to be sexual. Discussions about sexual orientation.
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Products & Purchases
The tribe sometimes gets to experience their hosts’ luxury lifestyles, including driving BMWs, shopping for carts full of brand-name groceries, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine and champagne are sometimes served during meals; the Tanna tribe also visits a bar. The tribesmen smoke cigarettes. One of the Tanna ambassadors is a tribal medicine man. One American couple is shown getting Botox injections.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series -- in which five tribesmen from a remote South Pacific island tour the United States and experience various American cultural rituals and traditions -- is full of positive messages about peace and cultural sharing (though some of tribesmen's well-intentioned American hosts treat them a bit like adult children). The show's content is pretty mild overall, but mature subjects are occasionally discussed (including gay marriage). There's also some visible drinking and smoking; the tribesmen's native attire reveals their chest, back, and buttocks, but it's not presented in a sexual context.
Is It Any Good?
Meet the Natives was born partly out of the Tanna tribe's desire to pay homage to an American man whom they believe was responsible for bringing peace to their island years ago. The group's voyage also provides a fresh perspective on the different ways that people across the United States live their lives. And the tribesmen offer interesting insights on some of the values that currently dictate the way Americans think about being part of a community, raising children, treating their elders, and dealing with aging.
The sends positive messages about sharing cultural experiences and finding common ground among disparate groups. Watching the Tanna natives do things like touching snow and riding a roller coaster for the first time in their lives is definitely fun, too. But there are some irritating moments, too, especially when the men -- among them a revered tribal chief, a respected medicine man, and a lead tribal dancer -- are treated like adult children by some of their well-meaning American hosts. Still, in the end, the show is an entertaining, perceptive look into what life in America looks like to those who live a world away.
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.