Ultimate Guide

TV review by
Deirdre Sheppard, Common Sense Media
Ultimate Guide TV Poster Image
Go behind the scenes of science and nature.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Promotes the idea of protecting and taking an interest in wildlife (and their habitats) and other natural phenomena.

Violence & Scariness

Some episodes include footage of predators hunting and killing their prey (sometimes viciously) or other potentially scary images of phenomena like lightning and volcanoes.

Sexy Stuff

Some episodes include footage of animals mating.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational series gives viewers a close-up look at various natural and scientific topics, from birds of prey to submarines. That said, most episodes tend to focus on the lives of animals, their habitats, and the various factors that affect their environment. Content varies widely between episodes, so check detailed listings first (and consider pre-screening) before letting kids watch.

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What's the story?

Each episode of ULTIMATE GUIDE paints an intimate portrait of a specific scientific or natural topic. Most episodes focus on wild animals and natural habitats, but the subject matter can vary widely, from submarines, lightning, and the human body, to spiders, apes, whales, and even the first nuclear submarine and the dangers of lightning. The narration follows a lecture-like pattern, reinforcing the show's educational nature.

Is it any good?

The show can be a bit slow-paced, which might not appeal to all viewers, but visually it's plenty stimulating -- perhaps too much so for sensitive viewers. A shark gulping a school of fish might be too graphic for some, for example, and a pack of baby cubs being abandoned by their mother might be traumatic for others.

It all depends on the age and sensibility of the viewer -- the content of Ultimate Guide is so broad that it's really hard to rate the series as a whole. Parents will probably want to check out each episode individually; an hour devoted to volcanoes could be fascinating for kids, but one about sharks relying on their senses for survival might be too scary.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about science and nature. Why can wild animals only survive in specific parts of the world? How do factors like pollution and tourism affect an animal's natural habitat? How do man-made inventions like the submarine affect nature? How do violent phenomena like volcanoes and lightning fit into the grand scheme of nature? What can you learn from each episode?

TV details

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Themes & Topics

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