The Works TV Poster Image

The Works



In-depth, fun look at the science of the everyday.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show fosters curiosity and reinforces the pleasure that comes from learning and understanding new things. Includes lots of science and history, which can pique interest in learning more. Fairly objective take on things like garbage -- no preaching.

Violence & scariness

Depends on the episode -- one looks into the history and science of guns and ammunition. But most episodes have no violence whatsoever.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One episode focuses on beer, but otherwise nothing to worry about.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this informative show goes in-depth into the history and science behind things like garbage, skydiving, and tattoos. Aside from occasional forays into topics involving things like beer and guns, there's no iffy content to worry about, and lots of intriguing, educational information. The show fosters curiosity and the joy of learning.

Kids say

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What's the story?

With the guidance of Daniel Wilson, a hip smartypants with a Ph.D. in robotics, THE WORKS looks behind the everyday experience to explore the history and science of things like garbage, tattoos, skydiving, and more. Wilson takes a hands-on approach to learning as he does things like spend a day with a garbage collector in New York City to understand what goes into managing the globe's 251 million annual tons of trash. He walks viewers through the entire process of each topic he investigates, tossing out interesting statistical tidbits along the way. Viewers will see how, for instance, recycled paper is converted into new pizza boxes within 12 hours of being collected at the curb.

Is it any good?


The Works doesn't break any new ground. We've seen other reality shows go into great (and sometimes disgusting) detail on the behind-the-scenes processes that make up our daily life. But while the show isn't revolutionary, it's educational and goes a little deeper than some other shows that just skim the surface. Graphics and analogies help tell the stories. For example, the show about garbage tells us that the average human produces 4.6 pounds of trash per day -- which equals the weight of eight elephants per year.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about any everyday items they're curious about. Is there something you do or use every day that you wish you knew more about? What could you do to find out more? Who would you talk to first? Can you get others involved in learning more? Does learning about something through a TV show make it more fun? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Daniel Wilson
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of The Works was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written byMr. Carthic May 14, 2010

no one 11 and under may see this


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