A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It briefly surveys the work of different inventors, scientists, and artists that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, and its impact on politics, economics, culture, and society.
It looks at the first 14 years of the 20th century as a period of innovation and change, rather than simply a precursor to World War I. Not all changes are presented as positive ones.
Positive Role Models
Specific European and American inventors, scientists, and artists are credited with challenging traditional norms, and ushering a new, more modern era, thanks to their work. How a European governments exploited people in the Congo for raw material like rubber, and the refusal of governments to recognize women as being equal to men, is discussed.
Female scientists like Marie Curie and early feminist activists are discussed, but most of the focus is on White, male, European and American leaders, innovators, artists, and thinkers.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
The mutilation or violent deaths of members of different European monarchies are discussed, and there are images of Africans living under colonial European regimes being beaten, or after being mutilated by soldiers. Archive footage of military violence and rebellion is featured, are are discussions of previous wars, and archive images of past and contemporary military troops.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Portraits and sculptures of classic nudes are shown as are occasional photographs, and full frontal nudity is shown in occasional archive photographs. There are references to mistresses, sex workers, brothels, bath houses, sexuality, and sexual activity. The work of Sigmund Freud, and its impact on the way people think about sex and sexuality, is also discussed.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking and drinking is visible in some archive footage.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Vertigo Years is a documentary series about the many technological, scientific, and artistic innovations from the first 14 years of the 20th century, and the political, economic, and social transformations they initiated. There are discussions and footage of violent events, as well as archive photos and films of people being beaten, killed, or mutilated. Smoking and drinking is also visible. Some of the installments also contains strong sexual content, ranging from conversations about sex work and sexual activities, to paintings and photographs of naked men and women. This is all offered in an informative context, and specifics about sexual behavior are glossed over, but there are enough visual references to make it too mature for younger viewers.
Is It Any Good?
This dense series, which is hosted by Phillip Blom, reviews a long list of social, artistic, and scientific changes that pitted the traditional against the modern at the beginning of the 20th century. It's interesting, but The Vertigo Years is mostly focused on Europe, and only taps into specific historical moments in the U.S., such as the creation of Ford's automotive assembly line. Meanwhile, each 45 minute installment discusses so many inventions, economic changes, and sociocultural phenomena that becomes a bit overwhelming. Nonetheless, if you're a history buff, the series is worth checking out.
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.