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 the reality series Sons of Winter follows brothers Dale and Shane Barks, two young men who set out on a 90-day hunting trip in the Northern Canadian Territories. Years ago, teacher Randy Barks moved his young family to uninhabited Northern Saskatchewan to live like the pioneers of past, and now his sons get to prove they can make it through a winter on their own. The show features lots of talk about the dangers of living in the wilderness, plus lots of hunting, trapping, and dead animals (some of which are bloody). Accidents and life-threatening moments also are shown. People partially undress for survival purposes.
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What's the story?
SONS OF WINTER is a reality series following 20-year-old Dale and 19-year-old Shane Barks, two young men setting out on a 90-day winter hunting and trapping trip in the Northern Canadian Territories. Years ago, teacher Randy Barks moved his young family to uninhabited Northern Saskatchewan to live like the pioneers of past. Now near adulthood, his two older sons arm themselves with a radio, traps, rifles, and their smarts and leave the family homestead to live and trap deeper in the wilderness hundreds of miles away. While the rest of the family works hard to find meat and sustain themselves throughout the big freeze, they also worry about the brothers' overconfidence. But Dale and Shane soon learn they're not invincible and must think carefully about the risks they're going to take if they want to survive the journey.
Is it any good?
The series offers a voyeuristic look into the lives of people who have chosen to live in the isolated and punishing wilderness of the Northern Region. Much of the show's entertainment value comes from the mistakes made and mishaps created by the boys, ranging from not securing their food to falling through the ice. Though some of these seem minor, all can have deadly consequences.
Framing the boys' trip as a journey into manhood feels a bit contrived, and Randy Barks' musings about the acceptance of the inevitable dangers they face while "living freely" gets a little tiresome. But if you like the many other outdoor-themed reality shows out there, you'll appreciate the endless hunting activities, as well as the casts' constant plans for survival in a place where they have no control.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what life is like in remote areas of the world. What's it like to live in a place with no neighbors, no stores, no electricity, no television, and no Internet? Do you think you could live like these folks for any period of time?
Do you think the story being told here is real? Or is it manufactured to make this family's life appear more entertaining for TV?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love rustic reality
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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