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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 this docuseries -- which follows Southern Louisiana fisherman as they hunt alligators -- offers an interesting look at Cajun culture but also includes some very graphic scenes of gators being hooked, shot, and skinned. Some of the language is strong, too (“hell,” “piss,” and “ass" are audible, while stronger words are bleeped). Expect messages about respecting the environment, prioritizing family, and honoring your cultural heritage.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SWAMP PEOPLE follows Cajun fishers and trappers as they hunt alligators in the largest swamp in the United States. Hunters like Troy Landry and his son, Jacob; Junior Edwards and his son, Willie; and Joe LaFont and his stepson, Tommy Chauvin, go after gators in Southern Louisiana’s Atchafalaya River Basin during the state’s alligator hunting season in order to keep them from overpopulating the region and threatening the people who live nearby. The men, who are only allowed to catch a limited number of gators a year, sail through the swamp in hopes of finding the animals that will yield the most money for their meat and skins. It’s hard and dangerous work, but for these men, it's simply a way of life.
Is it any good?
Swamp People offers an interesting look at Cajun culture and the role that alligator hunting has played in Southern Louisiana for the last 300 years. It also highlights the important role that the swamp has played in the lives of the families who've lived in this region for generations.
While there's lots here to learn about a unique American culture that relies on the bounty of the swamp for its very existence, animal lovers and more sensitive viewers will probably find the graphic hunting scenes difficult to watch. But if you can get past that, the show is a worthwhile entry in the "dangerous jobs" subgenre of reality TV.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Cajun culture. Did you know that Cajuns are descendants of Canada’s first settlers? How did they end up in Louisiana? What is their culture like?
How does the media typically depict Cajun culture? Do you think some of these portrayals are stereotypical? Why or why not? Where do you think cultural stereotypes come from?