Storm Chasers

 
Tornado team's intense quest best for teens+.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The scientists, filmmakers, and support staff willingly put themselves in harm's way to gather new data on tornadoes. The series includes some intriguing scientific facts about the science behind meteorology and storm evolution.

Violence

Little actual violence, but suspense is high as the featured folks intentionally place themselves in harm's way to gather data from tornadoes. Tense scenes show people running and driving away from oncoming twisters. Trackers sometimes joke about the dangers of what they do, making off-handed comments like "in case I die." Cameras also capture the devastation that follows strong tornadoes, showing homes, cars, and personal belongings destroyed.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Fairly frequent use of expletives like "f--k" and "s--t" (bleeped), as well as "hell," "bitch," and "damn" (audible).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this suspenseful docuseries has a tense atmosphere, frequent references to potential peril, and strong language ("f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped; others aren't). Both on-camera team members and the narrator often mention the possibility of the crew dying in their quest for new footage, and viewers easily sense the rising tension within the group as danger approaches. Scenes of tornadoes' devastating aftermath may be upsetting for kids and tweens, particularly any with first-hand storm experience. But for teens and adults, the series is an intriguing close-up look at how tornadoes form and wreak their trademark havoc.

What's the story?

In STORM CHASERS, scientists and filmmakers join forces to track and intercept tornadoes, hoping to gather new data and unique film footage from inside the heart of the storm. For adventurer/filmmaker Sean Casey and meteorologist Dr. Josh Wurman, few things are more exciting than the promise of an upcoming tornado warning. The two men are of one mind when it comes to watching the weather, because both hope for a never-before-seen close encounter with the next twister to hit Tornado Alley, a north-south stretch through the United States' plains states. Wurman hopes to record brand-new data from within the eye of the tornado that may change the way science looks at and studies the weather formations. Casey's goal is more dramatic: Equipped with a pricey IMAX camera, he's looking for that one-in-a-million glimpse at the swirling center of the storm. But chasing unpredictable weather patterns often proves to be more frustrating than rewarding, and with each failed attempt, Wurman, Casey, and the other members of their support team worry that their luck -- and funding -- may run out before they reach their goal.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Storm Chasers promises plenty of intrigue for viewers with an interest in meteorology in general -- and tornadoes in particular -- but there are lots of reasons to keep young kids and tweens and kids away. In addition to nonchalant references to death by both the subjects and the narrator (a team member prepares for a storm by stowing his cell phone and wallet, noting that his actions are "in case I die," for example), there's also frequent use of strong language as tension rises among the team.

 

The series could be especially upsetting for young viewers who live in areas where tornadoes are common, because they already have firsthand knowledge of the fear and devastation that accompanies these storms.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the educational value of reality shows like this one. Did you learn anything from watching this show? Do you think this series was made for educational purposes or just for entertainment? What makes you think that? In general, do you think the media is a good educational tool? If not, why, and should it be?

TV details

Cast:Josh Wurman, Sean Casey
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Storm Chasers was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11 and 12 year old Written byPamelaNY April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Exciting!

My 11-year-old boys were glued to the screen -- me too! It's cut in a dramatic suspenseful way, and although the manipulation of the audience is pretty obvious, it's still supercharged and fun. The science and logisitcs of tornado-chasing were very interesting. Highly recommended.
Kid, 8 years old August 8, 2014
age 7+
 

Really good!

Parents should know that this show is PG, but sometimes it has some bad words but they put the beeping thingy. I like the show, and kids my age can handle it. I recommend kids 7+ can watch.
Parent Written bygoldviper1971 October 24, 2012
age 18+
 

Not reality TV as promised!

I loved this series on season one but when season 2 aired, found a flaw that showed it is staged. The TIV intercercepted it's first tornado and in the drivers windo you can clearly see a white truck going past them while in the tornado. In the next frame the crew are in the same position and no truck was present. Very troubling that again Hollywood has to ruin a series I thought was truthful!

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