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River Monsters

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
River Monsters TV Poster Image
Man-eating fish tales are too intense for young kids.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show promotes keeping an open mind when it comes to popular beliefs about the vicious nature of the fish it tracks. Each episode features many emotional accounts from injury victims and witnesses to deaths from fish-induced wounds (for example, a grandfather recounts how he only recovered the bones of his young grandson after he was attacked by piranhas).

Positive Role Models & Representations

The host models persistence and determination, leaving no stone unturned in his investigations. But he also often puts himself in harm's way to observe creatures' behavior and test their attack instinct -- though he always treats the fish with respect.


Re-enactments of drowning scenes and blurred shots of people attacked by flesh-eating fish. The host often uses himself as bait, swimming in fish-infested waters to test their attack instincts, so there's always the possibility of injury. He also baits them with animal carcasses so he can watch them devour the meat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this investigative series features many re-enactments of drownings and vicious fish attacks on humans. These, coupled with harrowing eyewitness accounts of similar tragedies, ensure that it's not for kids -- or the faint of heart. Some tragic tales even cause the host to get choked up onscreen. The host also often puts himself in harm's way to get a close-up view of the lethal fish he studies, so be sure to remind kids that dangers always exist in any wildlife encounters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written byAranxa April 28, 2010

Seven year old boy's dream show!

My seven year old is fascinated by this show. It is exciting, shows different cultures, a respect for nature and animals and has just the right amount of gross... Continue reading
Parent Written byPlague September 3, 2010

River Monsters

Fun show to watch and really get into. The host is highley dedicated to what he does.
Teen, 15 years old Written byFarin230 November 8, 2014

Very Educational

This show is amazing! I love it. For all you who say it's too violent. It says VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!! That's enough of a warning for most people.... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHeq073198 March 13, 2012

Jeremy Wade catches the "one that got away"....

I love this show because at the end there is always confirmation of the behemoth fish's existence. The stories and encounters are intriguing, the fishing s... Continue reading

What's the story?

In RIVER MONSTERS, extreme angler Jeremy Wade travels the world to get a first-hand look at fish whose reputation for killing and eating humans has become the stuff of legend. Among the species Wade studies are piranha, bullshark, and wels catfish; at each stop, he uses local witness accounts and his own observations of the creatures' behavior to analyze their instinct to execute unprovoked attacks on humans.

Is it any good?

This dramatic series will reel you in with its fascinating close-up views of the legendary water creatures at the heart of many underwater horror stories. Wade often catches live samples of the species he studies, and the visual aids give viewers a close-up look at unique features like razor-sharp teeth and powerful jaws that make the fish so deadly. The good news is that Wade is thorough in his studies, taking a CSI-like approach to piece together the facts and suppositions of the myths he investigates before making a conclusion about a species' supposedly deadly nature. Fish enthusiasts will probably be more intrigued by the show's subject matter than the average viewer, but there's enough drama to maintain most adults' interest.

Speaking of drama, there's an overabundance of the human variety to captivate viewers, but the graphic first-hand accounts of attacks -- some of which bring Wade nearly to tears -- are too upsetting for kids and sensitive viewers. Many interviewees talk about the injuries they received, the deaths they've witnessed, and the emotional work of recovering partial bodies after an attack.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about wildlife and nature. What are some basic rules about interacting with wildlife?

  • How do scientists study wildlife in their native habitats? How does their knowledge make us -- and the animals -- safer?

  • What responsibilities do humans have toward animals? How can we help protect their habitats? What would be the consequences of the loss of their habitats?

TV details

For kids who love true stories

Our editors recommend

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