Weird but True

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Weird but True TV Poster Image
Comedy + science = fun learning experience for tweens.

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

Educational Value

Deconstructs a range of familiar topics from STEM, environmental, and other educational perspectives in order to invite viewers to think about the subject matter from a different point of view. 

Positive Messages

Underscores the fact that things we see every day are often a result of science, engineering, innovative thinking, etc. Also highlights the fact that learning about them can be fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Charlie, Kirby, and Carly are upbeat and fun, and represent a generation of young people who are excited to learn more about science and its role in everyday life. The hosts are always involved equally and demonstrate the same level of intelligence and inquiry. 

Violence & Scariness

Warnings are given to not try dangerous stunts or extreme athletic activities. One episode addresses how to understand fear. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Weird but True is an Emmy-winning series based on the popular National Geographic books. It features a team of science-minded people examining some of the fun, innovative, and strange things happening around us every day. Funny and informative, it looks at a wide range of topics from a variety of science perspectives. It's upbeat and fun, and there's a lot to be learned from it, making it a great pick for tweens and up.

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What's the story?

Based on the popular National Geographic book series, WEIRD BUT TRUE features a team of science-minded people showcasing some of the fun, innovative, and strange things happening around us every day. The first two seasons of this Emmy Award-winning series feature Charlie and Kirby Engelman in their workroom, where they raise questions and discuss details about a specific topic that sparks their curiosity, or that is associated with a project they are working on, while the third season stars Charlie and kids' entertainer Carly Ciarrocchi (The Big Fun Crafty Show). The duos travel around the country to meet with scientists, engineers, environmentalists, and other experts to learn more about the subject matter. Throughout it all, with the help of computer graphics and comedy skits, they break down scientific facts and other interesting elements associated with what they're learning. 

Is it any good?

This fast-paced, quirky, and delightful series combines documentary-style exploration with comedy to introduce viewers to the science associated with a wide range of topics. From learning about horns, antlers, and other animal headgear to understanding the innovative spirit, engineering principles, and psychological mindset required for extreme sports, the hosts offer simple explanations about the subject matter and corresponding research. The humorous banter helps keep it entertaining, but the amount of information presented in a single episode can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Nonetheless, Weird but True is very informative, and there's a good chance you'll learn something new every time you tune in. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different subjects that Weird but True looks at. Did you ever think about them scientifically? Does looking at them from this point of view change your ideas about them?

  • How can media and technology help us learn more about things like STEM, environmentalism, and wildlife? Does presenting it in entertaining ways make it easier for people to understand? Does this series succeed at this? 

TV details

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For kids who love learning

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