What Sam Sees

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
What Sam Sees TV Poster Image
Kid-friendly diving adventures educate and entertain.

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

Educational Value

Offers lots of information about different species of marine life. Highlights the place they have in the ecosystem, and in some cases, dangers posed to them. Clears up some misinformation about creatures that aren't as scary as they appear. 

Positive Messages

Ocean creatures are beautiful, fascinating, necessary for ecosystem, need to be protected. Highlights some rules of scuba diving. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sam is excited about everything she learns and sees. The experts explain things in simple terms that are easy to understand. Everyone involved has a passion for the ocean and the creatures that live in it. 

Violence & Scariness

Brief clips of sharks biting cages are shown in a few episodes. Experts describe how animals defend themselves when they have to. The safety measures taken during each dive are highlighted. 

Sexy Stuff

The National Aquarium is featured. Logos on clothing, etc., are blurred. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that What Sam Sees is a fun educational series about marine life that's geared toward kids. The information is presented in terms that young tweens can understand, but young children will probably find it too hard to follow. The underwater footage is colorful and fun, but on rare occasions shows very brief images of a scary-looking shark. But the overall series is upbeat and contains strong pro-environmentalist messages. 

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What's the story?

WHAT SAM SEES is an educational series hosted by producer, environmentalist, and rescue diver Sam Peltz as she learns about, and interacts with, different marine life. Sam teams up with safety divers and experts to learn more about different species of fish and other creatures that live in the ocean. Viewers also get to follow her on the "Sam Cam" when she dives into the fish tanks of the National Aquarium and surrounding waters to see the fish in action. At the end of each episode, Sam recaps some of the key things she learned throughout the experience.

Is it any good?

From feeding a big moray eel to looking for a small and reclusive bonnethead shark, this series showcases some of the ocean's natural wildlife. Information about each species is explained in simple terms, and the young, energetic host asks questions throughout -- the answers to which are remembered more easily thanks to her summaries at the end of each adventure. The dives, most of which take place in giant tanks, offer fascinating close-ups of marine life, too. Overall, What Sam Sees is an entertaining way to introduce kids to the wonders of the marine ecosystem, and it invites viewers of all ages to think more about why preserving and protecting marine life is so important. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how media can be used to teach environmentalism, including protecting wildlife. What does What Sam Sees teach us about the importance of marine life on our ecosystem? What about the dangers they currently face?

  • What is the most interesting sea creature featured in the series? Why? Did you learn anything new about it? Did you even know it existed until now?

  • How can you help protect the environment? What are some ways you and your family can lend a healing hand to our earth? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love oceanography

Character Strengths

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