That's Superhuman!

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
That's Superhuman! TV Poster Image
Remarkable human feats entertain in reality series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Participants perform incredible feats of strength, speed, agility, flexibility, and mental stamina, and they talk about the will it takes to accomplish what they do. Experts use scientific experiments to record their progress. The competitive nature of the show pits their very different abilities against each other to name one the ultimate superhuman.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Every participant shows determination in accomplishing his or her challenge. The experts demonstrate how scientific tools can help us understand what can't be seen within the human body.

Violence

Subjects take on dangerous tasks -- like jumping from great heights or swallowing a jack hammer -- to put their superhuman abilities to the test. No one is injured, but they do show signs of stress and fatigue, and some talk about previous injuries they've suffered. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that That's Superhuman! is a collection of stories of human abilities that defy the laws of science. In most cases, the activities have a high danger factor like being run over by a car or sending electricity through the body. If your teens watch, call their attention to the show's multiple disclaimers about the potential harm in these stunts. On the upside, viewers see scientists perform tests on the subjects to study how their bodies perform, so there's a window for learning there, and dangerous or not, these feats certainly will amaze you.  

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What's the story?

THAT'S SUPERHUMAN! spans the globe to witness exceptional human abilities of many different kinds. Recent episodes have showcased the skills of a free climber who scales tall buildings without safety gear, the razor precision of a celebrated knife thrower, and the mind-boggling speed of a blindfolded Rubik's Cube master. In each case, scientists perform experiments to discover how these performers are able to defy the limits of the human body, eventually naming one an ultimate superhuman. 

Is it any good?

That's Superhuman! opens with a frankly worded disclaimer about not trying any of these stunts at home, and there's good reason for that. Many of these feats could land the subjects in the hospital on a good day, and in some cases, they talk about some of the injuries they've suffered along the way. But the fact that they've pushed through the danger makes for some pretty amazing scenes for viewers to behold.  

That disclaimer can help guide you in deciding whether your kids are OK to watch, but even so, some clear reminders of the dangers in activities like what they're seeing are always appropriate. Granted, your kids probably won't be climbing skyscrapers or base jumping anytime soon, but other accomplishments -- holding your breath for extended periods, doing target practice with knives, jumping from roofs, etc. -- could be a bit more tempting to try. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what prompts these people to do what they do. Do you see the joy in it? Is potential fame a factor? What does it feel like to accomplish a goal? 

  • Teens: In general, are you influenced by what you see and hear on TV or in the movies? For instance, do you think celebrities' appearances affect issues like body image? If so, can that ever be a good thing?

  • What real-life applications do you see for science and math skills? What careers make use of them? How do scientists help us live better, safer, or longer? Do your teens like these subjects?

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