Parents' Guide to

Sail Away

By KJ Dell Antonia, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Sails, sunsets, no sex in teen Real World.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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In what's become the classic reality tradition, one participant faces some battle -- usually with fear or homesickness -- in each episode. All the kids talk to the camera about the things they're learning -- independence, outdoor skills -- and the fears or struggles they're willing to admit to. The adults talk about what they hope the kids are getting from the experience. Two kids narrate, providing continuity and explanation for younger viewers. Camera confessionals are interspersed between water and beach adventures that will make the entire family long for a Bahaman vacation -- swimming with whales, sleeping on the beach -- and a few that won't -- sailing through the rain, sleeping in tiny boat bunks.

It's not all a picnic, although it is a somewhat whitewashed adventure -- these filmmakers aren't out to take advantage of the kids by lingering on conflicts or highlighting their less-appealing qualities to create a personal growth arc. The kids clearly come from different backgrounds, probably fairly significant differences in some cases, but that's not exploited, either. The kids grow to work together and learn about the environment in a fairly simple way that makes for entertaining family television.

TV Details

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