Night

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Night TV Poster Image
Walk on the wild side after dark isn't for youngest kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series gives viewers a unique look at the natural habits of many types of nocturnal animals. McMillan points out unique characteristics that aid in the animals' hunting and survival skills, and he narrates the their actions so that viewers understand what they're seeing.

Violence

Animals kill and eat prey, and the host often draws viewers' attention to animal carcasses as evidence that predators lurk nearby. The host gives graphic details about the animals' methods of killing prey (biting the throat to cause strangulation, for example). The show is full of suspenseful moments as he puts himself in harm's way to study the animals in their natural habitats.

Sex
Language

"S--t" and stronger words are edited out. But exclamations like "oh my God," "Jesus," and "good God" are common.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the host of this nature show often puts himself in dangerous situations to get close to the animals he studies, so expect lots of tension -- and some palpable fear -- when things don't go exactly as planned. Kids may be frightened by the frank descriptions and footage of the animals' hunting tactics, and the general content of the show might be enough to induce some new nighttime fears. But for older viewers, the series offers a fascinating glimpse into the nocturnal activities of many seldom-seen species.

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What's the story?

Animal expert Brandon McMillan unveils the creatures that go bump (and screech and howl...) after dark t in Animal Planet's NIGHT. The nearly fearless animal trainer travels the world for rare glimpses into the shadowy nocturnal habits of species like vampire bats, hyenas, and Humboldt squid. Using high-tech night-vision equipment and calling on the knowledge of local experts, McMillan observes the animals in their natural environments, studying their hunting prowess and survival tactics.

Is it any good?

Night puts a new spin on the traditional wildlife show by focusing on animals' nocturnal habits; the result is a surprisingly gripping series that offers lots of educational content. It's obvious that McMillan knows his stuff, and his excitement is contagious as he gets close-up glimpses of magnificent species like African leopards in action. As he narrates the animals' movements, he also points out the characteristics that make them effective hunters or elusive prey.

That said, the show's dramatic nature makes it iffy for young kids and sensitive tweens, who may be frightened by scenes of animals prowling around at night -- even if their habitats are thousands of miles away. The series also plays up tense moments during McMillan's wildlife encounters (a diving emergency while swimming among five-foot squid, for instance), which could upset youngsters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about animal behavior. How do wild animals adapt to their habitats? What animals can you think of that have developed specialized abilities for hunting or to avoid becoming prey themselves? Do all animals have instinctive behavior? What examples can you think of? What impact have humans had on animals' environments? How do our everyday actions affect their ability to survive? What can we do to protect their natural habitats?

TV details

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