Weird U.S.

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Weird U.S. TV Poster Image
Duo crisscrosses the country exploring bizarre folklore.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show seeks out strange and sometimes disturbing stories to investigate, and the hosts are mostly unbiased about what they learn from those in the know. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hosts keep open minds and express curiosity every step of the discovery process. They're humorous and entertaining.

Violence

Reenactments of violent events such as suicide, murder, and animal sacrifice, but there's no gore and little blood. Skeletons are visible in some cases. Many stories deal with eerie subjects such as the supernatural.

Sex

References to people having sex, and there's kissing in some reenactments. A few stories deal with related topics such as necrophilia. 

Language

Rarely "hell."  

Consumerism

Many of the spots chosen for the show are tourist attractions that may gain greater visibility for being part of the show. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Weird U.S. is a collection of bizarre stories and legends from various places in America and throughout its history. The show covers a wide range of topics including murder conspiracies, strange burial rituals, alleged hauntings, and generally odd occurrences. This makes it difficult to predict each episode's content ahead of time, but on the whole it's fine for tweens who aren't bothered by the suggestion of supernatural happenings or fairly tame reenactments of violent events. In some cases the show shines a spotlight on people whose hobbies or lifestyles are odd by conventional standards, but the tone is more curious than judgmental. 

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What's the story?

In WEIRD U.S., hosts Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman travel the country to visit the sites of bizarre events and folklore from throughout America's history. From sideshows and pirate museums to haunted lakes and unusual avenues of spiritual enlightenment, these hosts are curious about the country's most curious people and happenings. Along the way, they talk to field experts and local residents to get the real story behind these unreal stories. 

Is it any good?

As Moran and Sceurman like to say, "History is full of weirdos," and this series certainly makes the case that they're right. Inspired by the duo's book of the same name, Weird U.S. will make you ponder what little-known oddities might exist in your own town as the hosts research peculiar happenings in seemingly normal places throughout the country with events from long ago as well as quirky present-day practices.

Although many of the stories are merely peculiar, some raise topics that will give squeamish viewers the shivers, particularly when it comes to matters such as the supernatural. Similarly, even though the reenactments often are choppy and obscured, they do recount violence such as murder and suicide, so it's best to preview the episodes to ensure they won't be upsetting to your tweens.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories in each episode. In the case of legends, do you find them plausible? Do the accounts of local residents make you more willing to believe the stories? 

  • To what extent does this show reflect America's appreciation for diversity? Who gets to decide what's "normal" so far as people's behavior or habits go? In what ways is society better embracing ideas that deviate from the traditional norm? 

  • What is this show's intent? After watching it, are you tempted to visit any of the places the hosts explored? Where does your family like to travel

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love history

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