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 this series strays from the basic "observation and explanation" formula typical of many other wildlife series. Hosted by a female comedian who has no animal expertise -- just plenty of curiosity -- the show's focus is on comparing many types of animal behavior to humans', with often-surprising results. The educational potential makes this a great show for families to enjoy together, but scenes of animals eating carcasses or lunging at onlookers might be too much for the littlest viewers. Be prepared to answer kids' questions about what they're seeing, including things like trapping and vaccinating wild animals.
What's the story?
In MS. ADVENTURE, city girl/comedian Rachel Reenstra looks to solves the mysteries of the wild by studying animal instincts and relating them to human behavior. Traveling the world and working with local experts, Reenstra gains first-hand knowledge about how various species gather food, communicate, procreate, and raise their young, while drawing some pretty interesting comparisons to the ways humans do the same things. In an episode about parenting, for example, Reenstra observes many different species caring for their offspring. The spectrum of tactics proves amazing, ranging from a Tasmanian devil mother whose babies remain attached to her teats long after they outgrow her marsupial pouch to black bears who let their cubs call all the shots. Watching a family of wolves, Reenstra comments that we can learn a lot from seeing how the entire pack of animals cooperates for the good of the youngsters.
Is it any good?
While her encounters teach Reenstra -- and viewers -- plenty of fascinating facts about animal behavior and the wonders of natural instincts, it's her quips and tongue-in-cheek comparisons between animals and humans that set Ms. Adventure apart from other wildlife shows. The unique format incorporates man-on-the-street comments about each episode's topic, as well as voice-over film clips, both of which complement the similarities or differences that Reenstra is pointing out between us and our animal counterparts.
Ms. Adventure's mix of entertainment and education is family-friendly, provided that your kids are old enough to handle an occasional scene of animals eating a carcass or trying to scare off onlookers by lunging or hissing at them. Even then, some kids may need explanation about what they're seeing, so have your animal behavior answers at the ready while you watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animal behavior. How do different animals adapt to their surroundings? What do they eat? What are their natural defenses against predators? Did anything about the behavior included in the show surprise your kids? How are humans and animals alike? How are we different? How do experts monitor animals in the wild? Why do they do so?
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