SCI FI Investigates
By Sierra Filucci,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Middling myth-busting for curious families.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Team members are smart, curious people seeking out the truth. But the cast is also all white and three-quarters male.
Violence & Scariness
Some theoretical discussion of physical attacks, demon possession, alien abduction, etc. Occasional intense scenes, but nothing really violent is shown.
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Some bleeped curse words, like "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one episode, rum is used to appease a spirit. Investigators are seen holding beer bottles, though not drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this lightweight investigative show focuses on popular myths and controversies surrounding topics like UFOs and Bigfoot. While it's not a great example of real scholarship or science, the show might get kids interested in digging a little deeper into a subject that interests them. Some topics touch on potentially scary subjects, like voodoo curses or alien visitation, but most kids will be able to handle the show's breezy treatment. Occasional bleeped cursing is really the only thing parents might be concerned about.
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What's the Story?
SCI FI INVESTIGATES takes on familiar myths and paranormal theories in an attempt to separate fact from fiction. In each episode, a team of experts (of sorts) -- an anthropologist/archeologist, a crime scene investigator, a scholar of the paranormal, and a "skeptic" ("Boston Rob" Mariano of Survivor and The Amazing Race fame) -- looks into the mysteries of Bigfoot, Roswell, and more. In one episode, for example, the group traveled to New Orleans to investigate the religious and cultural practices of voodoo. They attended several rituals and celebrations where they witnessed apparent possessions and found themselves entranced by the possibility of a magical experience. But although each of the team members had an intense emotional experience during the investigation, by the end of the episode, viewers were no closer to knowing whether or not voodoo magic is real, though they got a good lesson in the power of faith. Ultimately the team discovered that if you believe it, it's real.
Is It Any Good?
Viewers looking for true scholarly investigations aren't going to find them here. And the experts don't tend to wow viewers with their skilled analysis, either. Rather, SCI FI Investigates depicts some rather normal folks looking into an interesting subject. With the access that TV cameras bring, this can be engaging. But it can also be disappointing for people who want to see a real investigation.
Speaking of TV cameras, the show's experts never acknowledge that folks act differently in front of a camera and that some of what they witness may be affected by their very presence. Since this is a key issue in anthropological study, you'd expect at least a mention of this idea. But, then again, since the show is pretty lightweight altogether, maybe not.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what they think about the show's topics. Do parents and kids believe in things like Bigfoot, possession, or UFO landings? Does the show present any evidence that changes your mind? What tools do the investigators use to research their subject? What methods would you use to get at the truth? Which topics would you like to see investigated?
- Premiere date: October 11, 2006
- Cast: Deborah Dobrydney, Richard Dolan, Rob Mariano
- Network: Syfy
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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