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 each episode of this show focuses on the host's ability to survive in extreme conditions -- such as in the desert or on a mountaintop -- for seven days with no food, water, or equipment. While adults will understand that he'll undoubtedly make it back to civilization, young viewers might find the challenging conditions stressful or even frightening.
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What's the story?
In SURVIVORMAN, veteran outdoorsman Les Stroud films himself as he spends a week escaping the latest remote locale in which he's purposely stranded himself. In each episode, the affable Stroud is dropped by helicopter with only the clothes on his back, his camera equipment, and possibly an energy bar or a pack of gum (i.e. what regular hikers might have with them in a similar situation). Without food, water, or equipment, he must use his smarts and instinct to survive a week alone. This involves finding sustenance and shelter -- as well as traveling over rough terrain to safer ground.
Is it any good?
Some of the situations Stroud finds himself in can be perilous, but he knows what he's doing, and most kids should be able to handle it. Ultimately, Survivorman has all the hallmarks of a good reality show, including a friendly host, suspenseful situations, and resolution by episode's end. But it goes a step further, teaching viewers about nature and how you can survive without the comforts of home. Parents looking for tween-friendly fare can feel good about tuning in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about survival tactics. How can you get by for a week with no food or water? What about shelter? How do seemingly safe trips -- like camping or river rafting -- turn dangerous? Has there ever been a situation you wondered how you'd get out of? What did you do? Have you taken any training to prepare for dangerous situations (first aid, self-defense, wilderness training)? Would you like to? What would you do if you found yourself in one of the situations featured on the show?
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