TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
SciJinks TV Poster Image
Well-meaning science pranks aren't that sciencey or funny.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While pranks aren't always a nice thing to do, these are done gently. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Co-host Tamara Robinson explains the science concepts and is positioned as being the smartest of the three hosts.


Some mild explosions; a pretend animal control officer points a gun at a drone; a prank involves a supposedly out-of-control car.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SciJinks is a hidden-camera prank show that tries to bring some educational value to the premise by explaining the science concepts used in the prank segments. Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory hosts the show but doesn't participate in the pranks, making his overall involvement pretty minimal. The gags are silly and a bit tame, never approaching the levels of shows like Punk'd or Jackass, which makes the show suitable for younger viewers. Teens may find the content not risky enough to be entirely entertaining.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCatherine23 August 18, 2018
Adult Written byAgeOfReason June 1, 2018

Drink Some SmartWater

Can people really be that gullible? Wow! We really have dumbed down over the past 40 years. Who wouldn’t get that they were being pranked after the first few mi... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Johnny Galecki hosts SCIJINKS, a hidden-camera prank show that seeks to differentiate itself by engaging in pranks that use specific science concepts. The setup is familiar: Actors in on the gag bring unsuspecting individuals in to situations that quickly escalate to seemingly dangerous or embarrassing ends, with the joke being revealed only at the last minute, much to the relief of victims. At the end of the prank, Galecki and his science-adept co-hosts explain some bit of science involved, such as which chemicals combined together to make a batch of beer explode with mountains of foam. 

Is it any good?

Well-intentioned but uninspired, this series wants to take one of the simplest entertainment formats -- the hidden-camera prank show -- and use it for good by trying to add a little, and I do mean little, educational value. The pranks are tepid and the actors who are in on it overplay their roles to such an exaggerated degree that it's hard to believe that anyone is actually fooled. Meanwhile, the science, which is supposed to be the hook here, is barely an element. The science explanations are barely a minute long and feel simply like an after-the-fact justification to air this show on the Science Channel. There are certainly worse things on TV, and SciJinks has its heart in the right place as it tries to educate while entertaining, but it could commit more strongly to its comedy and its science. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Are the pranks on SciJinks funny or mean? How do you feel about the people getting pranked? Do you think you'd like to be pranked? Why or why not?

  • Families can talk about STEM. Why is it important to learn these skills? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: May 16, 2018
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki
  • Network: SCIENCE
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: April 22, 2021

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