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 the gross-out "yuck" factor is extremely high in this show about ootentially deadly parasites -- in fact, it's kind of the point. Sensitive kids (or adults!) could easily be scared or made paranoid by the animation of the different parasites and what they do inside human bodies. Other than that, though, there's not much content of concern.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Only safe for those with strong intestinal fortitude, each episode of MONSTERS INSIDE ME looks at case studies about different aspects of parasitic infection and disease. There's lots of gross-out narration and animation, and some pretty scary bugs -- from bedbugs to roundworms and many, many more.
Is it any good?
The show's producers are apparently aware that half the attraction of a show like this is the gross-out factor, and they certainly play it up. But there's also some good information here, and while the narration is somewhat hyped up -- in one case, for instance, a parasite is described as eating a child's brain from the inside out -- it's not repeated endlessly (and, in fact, that's exactly what the parasite did to the child).
Also, the producers are pretty good about providing perspective on the actual incidence of the featured diseases -- one parasite, for example, is fairly common in Southeast Asia but extremely rare in the United States, while another parasite, while more common, very rarely infects humans. Bottom line? The real fun of this show is making folks go "eeew!" and it's very successful at that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that many of the featured stories happened years ago. Can you figure out which scenes are re-enacted and which aren't?
Parents can also ask their kids whether they think the show creates fear about something that's really very unlikely. Or is it ultimately reassuring? Is the show's intent to educate or sensationalize?