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The Most Extreme
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 show presents amazing animal feats in countdown form and then compares them to human capabilities. Unfortunately, the over-the-top glitz of the production values overshadows the information. Some sensitive content about aggression, mating, and humans' own habits makes the show a better fit for more mature tweens.
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What's the story?
In MOST EXTREME, each episode counts down, from 10 to 1, the "best" in animal attributes, while also comparing the particular topic or skill to humans' abilities. Who are the best jumpers, builders, stinkers, predators, and biters? The show uses real-life footage of and information about animals, as well as expressive narration, bad jokes, computer animation, and dramatic music. Occasionally, footage from old black and white movies are even tossed into the mix -- for example, snippets from The Bride of Frankenstein were shown in the context of discussing the platypus' peculiar assembly.
Is it any good?
Most Extreme is a great idea that suffers from too much production pizzazz. Certainly, the snazzy graphics are part of the reason that Most Extreme is popular with adolescents and adults. But the over-the-top production values overshadow the information being presented. That, combined with a narrative tendency toward sometimes-racy humor (talking about animals that make the best lovers, commenting on mating habits, etc.), makes the series a better fit for older tweens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the animals on the show compare to family pets or neighborhood critters. Why do opossums and raccoons prefer to come out in the evening? Why do dogs howl when fire engines go by? Parents can help kids appreciate animals' special characteristics -- like how their senses are more- or less-finely tuned than our own. The show may also spark a discussion about careers working with animals, or a trip to the library for more information.
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