Parent reviews for Survivor

Common Sense says

Plotting and scheming in paradise for $1,000,000.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 62 reviews
Parent of a 1 and 5-year-old Written byBuckyD December 8, 2010

We watch as a family, with lots and lots of discussion.

I always hate people that give advice that covers every kid. Certainly the advice, generally given, is that no kid under the age of 10-12 should watch Survivor because of the dysfunctional behavior and social interactions that are portrayed on-screen. I mean, really, I'm a trained Psychologist, so what am I doing exposing my preschooler to this kind of role model, right?

Well, it really depends on the nature/temperment of the kid and whether or not you can be there during the show to explain why these social shenanigans are occurring, and how the game is set up to make people behave in that way. While my daughter still can't sit through the perilous scenes of an animated Disney movie at 5 (think: Ursula in Little Mermaid or the Shark scene in Nemo), she can so totally grasp the intentions of the "contestants" on Survivor and understands how to see things from each player's view. In that way, she can provide a narrative of the driving force behind what each person says, and dare I say has some empathy for their plight -- even if they end up lying. We have ample opportunity to discuss bad words, bad motives, and bad friendships. We try to predict who was the most persuasive prior to Tribal Councils and who will do better at the challenge games (because of strength, smarts, eating, or motivation). We discuss how people must feel when they aren't able to eat good food, how leaders rise to their positions -- and can be dropped from those positions if they become too bossy, and how even liars wrestle with their decisions to lie (with a few exceptions, that is).

If you think that similar sorts of "social games" don't occur in school, think again. I'd like to think that exposing my kids, with lots of explicit instruction about what they're seeing, to small doses of this behavior allows them to not be caught off-guard or devastated when the group dynamic at preschool/elementary school shifts out of their favor. It happens.

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Written byAnonymous November 22, 2018

The butt review: this show is not bad for kids!

Adult Written byLuvJMB September 30, 2014

I absolutely LOVE this show!!!

I Am looking forward to watching it from the beginning of Season 1. I never thought I would get the chance to rewatch them knowing who one.
My favorite season I think is the All-Star one and the one in Pearl Islands. I really loved Rupert. He was so big that you couldn't help but think that he might be the first one to go. Way to go Rupert!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byProffesionalPar... February 17, 2020

Any age is perfect

I am a professional advice counselor and I believe that survivor is perfect for any age and a great show to watch with the family.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byLexapen October 13, 2019

A little risque

I am by no means prudish. However, I began watching season 1 with my 10 year old, and the multiple discussions regarding orgies, was a bit unsettling. I watched this season when it originally aired, before having children. I was prepared for nudity, but forgot about the sexual content. Watching it with them, I am having to press mute at least once per episode. I think we’ll be done after getting through season 1.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byEliana Z. February 27, 2018


I think this is an amazing show. Such a complex plot and the suspense keeps you wanting more and more. Their may be many seasons but every is different in its on way. Enjoy watching real people interact with each other. Personalities may clash, people may fight, relationships are formed, alliances are created, and all time favorites are brought back for a second chance. Enjoy!!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9 and 15-year-old Written byMeowstiic T. November 3, 2017

Great Lessons Buried in Knee Deep Competition, Flirting, etc.

Oh, yes, it's great. Competitive, Survivor remains a great show back from when I was a teen. Well, it didn't have massive amounts of flirting, which it does now. Plenty of arguments which can lead to fist fights, and this all buries the great lessons and discussions in this show.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Written byAnonymous December 7, 2012


You Know What I Think.
Adult Written byKAL57 February 17, 2012

revealing clothes that women wear

The women wear very skimpy clothes like a bra and underwear as they do challenges such as run around lifting, pushing, crawling I don't find it to be family show.
Parent of a 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, and 13-year-old Written bymisskristin August 16, 2010
Parent of a 11, 11, 11, and 12-year-old Written bytripple December 15, 2009

For tweens and above.

This show has raised some good parental discussions. Not ready for my 11 year olds to watch.
Adult Written by[email protected] January 8, 2009

Survivor is our favorite show

We watch Survivor avidly every season. It's our favorite show to view together. We not only enjoy the contests and watching how the people cope, but also we talk about survival skills and what it would actually take to make it in a wilderness like that. We also discuss how the people who have studied up and prepared in advance, for example, learning how to make fire and some basic wilderness survival, do much better than those who did not prepare. We also try to learn a little bit about the country that the show features. My kids are 10 and 12 now and we all love it.
Adult Written byJennie0409 April 9, 2008
Adult Written byjulsh April 9, 2008
Adult Written bysusanrogers April 9, 2008

Good Lessons Here *IF* Parents Also Watch and Discuss

Survivor is one of the very few non-PBS programs our family watches. Before I ever saw it, I would ridicule and make fun of those who did watch it. Now we are hooked. My son is 12.
I think kids starting around 11-12 can watch this program, but that's ONLY if parents are watching with them and discussing a lot of what goes on. Even teens should have parents watching and discussing with them. The show provides many opportunities to talk about values, ethics and morals -- is it ever OK to lie? If so, when? What personality qualities make a person likable? What behaviors show us that someone is a jerk, or immature, or very self-centered, and that we wouldn't want to be that person's friend if they lived in our town?
Survivor also gives a family a rare chance to observe and discuss group dynamics -- how people function together when they don't know each other well, and when no one is appointed the leader. Why do the best leaders -- the most likable and competent people -- never win the million dollars? How do the people who last the longest manage to do it? (Answer: they either lie and manipulate people, or they never initiate anything -- they stay quiet, work hard and go along with others rather than leading anything on their own.) What can we tell about a person's basic, true personality by the way they function in the group, especially during the first few days?
Sometimes people swear and that's bleeped out. Sometimes a swimsuit will fall down or a person might otherwise be exposed -- this is digitized over with a "blurring" effect. Occasionally they get some wine -- that provides an opportunity to discuss what happens to you when you drink -- you lose judgement and say things you otherwise would never want to say. One episode had a situation where a woman wrongly accused a man of improper sexual advances. The entire camp witnessed the high drama and confrontations that spanned more than one week of the show. At first I was dismayed, but then used it as a great opportunity to talk about the potential for real misunderstanding between a man and a woman, and how honest communication is much better than accusations and hysteria.
It's also important to discuss Survivor as a media production. It is NOT a reality show -- in reality, 16 people plus cameramen would not be plunked down in the middle of nowhere. There are frequent opportunities to discuss how the producers make us (the viewers) think something is going to happen because of what video they show, but then by the end (or next week) you are surprised by what happens, and then you know that the editors and producers simply chose not to show the conversations and situations that would have clued you in. This provides lessons about "what is TV, really?" and "why do they do it that way?".
You'll see great cinematography in the outdoor setttings -- landscapes, ocean and animal shots. The Reward and Immunity "challenges" are imaginative and clever. In the end, it's only TV and we could live without this show, but it's easy to see why Survivor has survived so much longer than any of the other so-called reality shows.
Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008
Adult Written byPanya April 9, 2008

Parents should watch too

I'd be okay with letting teenagers watch this, but only if an adult were present to discuss the issues. (For example, in a recent show one contestant rubbed his naked genitals against a female contestant -- that would have been a good oppurtunity to discuss appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior and it's consequences.)
Adult Written byMindypin April 9, 2008
Adult Written bykpalm April 9, 2008

Generates Family Discussion

Reality t.v. gets a bad rap sometimes and Survivor is certainly an example. While highly edited to create drama, the show is not exploitative. Unless you are ready to have discussions with young kids about what it means to be gay, or about sex in general, I would suggest this is best for the middle- school-and-up crowd. But for families with older kids its a great choice for watching together as a family.
Adult Written bykitty1 April 9, 2008

it's fun

to me it's a psycology study