Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Locator

By Scout Davidson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Reality show mixes intense stories with teary reunions.

TV WE Reality TV 2008
The Locator Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

THE LOCATOR is as manipulative as all get-out, but it works tremendously well -- you'd have to be pretty hard-hearted to not get at least a little teary-eyed by the end of an episode. The producers do a very good job of establishing who the participants are and why head tracker Dunn cares about them. It could be argued that the show's "search" element is largely glossed over in favor of the "reunion" portion, but the sense of joy, relief, and sometimes fear that these people display when meeting their lost family or friends is palpable -- and impossible to watch casually.

The importance of family to the folks behind the show is obvious. Dunn's
mother is one of his research assistants (though the team is mostly kept
in the background), and in
many episodes he consults with his wife, Katie, about whether or not a
particular case is worth his attention -- then listens to her advice and considers it honestly. Dunn's humility and grace are worth noting; they help set The Locator apart from many reality shows. In each episode, once the reunion has begun, Dunn simply exits quietly. There's no grandstanding, no demands for fawning gratitude or undue attention. He just leaves without calling any attention to himself, recognizing that in this moment, it's no longer about him. It's a refreshing and humanizing change of pace.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: September 6, 2008
  • Cast: Troy Dunn
  • Network: WE
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: March 2, 2022

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate