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North Woods Law
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 North Woods Law features game wardens and marine patrols in the state of Maine doing their jobs. There are lots of guns and rifles due to local hunting and law-enforcement activities; occasionally weapons are shot at animals and humans (dead animals are shown). People frequently smoke cigarettes, and some are stopped for drunk driving. Occasional strong language ("s--t," "f--k") is bleeped.
What's the story?
NORTH WOODS LAW is a reality series that follows game wardens and marine patrols in Maine as they deal with dangerous animals and wild people during hunting season. Cameras follow as they monitor hunting activity, chase illegal poachers, and investigate the reckless use of firearms. They also keep busy searching for lost moose hunters, rescuing drowning boaters, and chasing black bears out of residential areas. They put their lives on the line to preserve the Maine wilderness and to keep people safe in an area where guns and animals outnumber people.
Is it any good?
North Woods Law offers an interesting and voyeuristic look at the kind of work performed by members of an elite law-enforcement group, who are on call for 81 hours at a time once they clock in. It also shows the efforts they make to protect the state's wildlife areas, 95 percent of which are privately owned, so that they'll remain open to the public for hunting and other recreational purposes.
The excitement expressed by some of the wardens when trying to catch folks in the act of breaking the law is a little over the top at times. But the show does offer some interesting information on some of Maine's laws and cultural practices. People who like this sort of thing probably will find the show entertaining enough to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way reality shows are used to showcase the cultural differences between different regions of the United States (or even across the world). What kinds of unique things set northern Maine apart from other regions in the union? Is there anything that sets where you live apart from other parts of the country?
Are these differences highlighted to educate people or simply to entertain them by making unique details seem weird? How can TV shows underscore these differences without furthering stereotypes?