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Weird, True and Freaky
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, overall, this docuseries emphasizes shock value over education -- while there are some scattered opportunities for families to learn about animal behavior and science, they're usually overshadowed by the greater factor of curiosity. The amount of over-the-top/iffy content varies by episode, but it's safe to say that sensitive young viewers might be disturbed by scenes of mutant animals (a cyclopic piglet and a dog with no front legs, for instance) or stories of animals eating humans.
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What's the story?
WEIRD, TRUE AND FREAKY shines a spotlight on some of the strangest biology and behavior ever recorded in the animal world. From a man-eating snake to a cat with two faces, these creature curiosities are often stranger than fiction. Throughout the amazing (albeit often over-the-top) tales, experts are on hand to explain the science behind them.
Is it any good?
If the likes of Ripley's Believe It or Not! tickle your curiosity, this series is sure to do the same. Its stories are certainly fascinating, and the often-bizarre images are sure to stick with you long after you've turned off the television. (After all, who's going to turn down the chance to see a giraffe with a crooked neck or a six-legged cow?)
But if you're seeking a quality show to share with your whole family, this isn't it. Its focus on shock value sometimes feels as exploitative as a carnival sideshow, and young kids especially may be more disturbed by the images than intrigued by their curious nature. There's not really enough educational content to make it worthwhile for older kids, either. So if animal oddities are a fascination for you, this is a guilty pleasure probably best indulged on your own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they think this show takes advantage of its subjects. Does the fact that they're animals make it different than if they were human? Why or why not?
What other types of entertainment are based on people, places, or things that are different from the norm?
Do you enjoy comedy that pokes fun at certain races or socioeconomic classes? Why or why not?