Parents' Guide to

Modern Marvels

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

The history behind super subjects for families.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Using so many different materials to tell a particular invention's history ensures that just about everyone in the audience will find something captivating, whether it's the historical documents or the man-on-the-street interviews. For example, the fireworks episode begins by recounting China's invention of gunpowder, then shows original artwork depicting early fireworks displays, and finally moves on to interviews with the current president of the American Pyrotechnics Association -- as well as showing footage of one of the legendary families responsible for some of the United States' most memorable fireworks celebrations.

Parents looking for a way to advance their child's interest in a subject will find a treasure in Modern Marvels -- though it's definitely worth noting that some episodes tackle decidedly more mature topics (one included images of sex toys; others have shown pictures of nuclear bombs being set off and the like) than others. And an hour on a single topic can wear thin for viewers who don't have a particular interest in the subject or related issues.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: January 1, 1995
  • Network: History
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: March 30, 2022

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