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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 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.
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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?