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 while tweens and teens may find this documentary series about strange creatures and unexplained phenomena entertaining and informative, certain episodes about ghosts and other supernatural occurrences may be a bit scary. If you know that your child is uncomfortable with things like that or prone to sleeplessness or having nightmares after watching scary movies, you may want to watch the show with them and then discuss it -- or suggest they skip certain episodes.
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What's the story?
Discovery Kids' documentary-style series TRUTH OR SCARE treks across the globe to investigate paranormal phenomena and legends about ghosts, monsters, aliens, mythical creatures, and more. In a format designed to appeal to older tweens and teens, the show gives the facts about each creepy case and then leaves viewers to decide for themselves: Is it real, or perhaps someone's idea of a nasty joke meant to frighten people? The series is hosted by actress Michelle Trachtenberg (of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Is it any good?
Tweens and teens who are curious about the paranormal won't be disappointed with this show if they're seeking a few thrills and chills. The show covers a wide range of spooky topics, like houses, castles, hotels, theatres, or ships that are supposedly haunted; well-known legends like Dracula, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Loch Ness monster; and UFOs, witches, psychic science, or scare tactics. Truth or Scare effectively hooks viewers with its presentation of each case or topic -- the narration and video footage are engaging, and the earnest testimonials from witnesses are enough to send shivers down your spine. Trachtenberg's presence is also a good hook -- fans will relate to her because of her age, and her role on Buffy ties in well with a show about "real-life" ghouls and ghosts.
Certain episodes might be disturbing to young viewers who strongly believe in evil spirits or are afraid of things that go bump in the night. Truth or Scare does a good job of convincing the audience that these stories are true; a segment about eerie apparitions, for example, may have even sensible adults looking over their shoulders repeatedly to make sure no ghosts are dogging their footsteps. Since almost none of these cases offer concrete proof, it's best to take them with a grain of salt -- but for some people, that's easier said than done.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about each episode's theme. Which legend, paranormal phenomenon, or other topic was addressed? What sort of "proof" did they offer for the legend or phenomenon being real? Do you believe it's real? Why or why not? Does the thought of it being real disturb you? Did you learn anything particularly interesting from the episode?
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