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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that White Rabbit Project is a reality show that investigates historical phenomena such as famous heists and odd World War II weaponry. This show's education value is high -- graphics and narration drive home the way things work, such as how an escape-proof building is constructed or how a hot-air balloon rises. Reenactments of some historical events may be worrisome to very young viewers; footage that shows paratroopers jumping out of planes or masked criminals threatening others with guns may require explanation from parents. There's no cursing, but the occasional off-color situation or word may arise: A man runs from police in brief underwear; a brave move is called "ballsy." But overall the show promotes scientific curiosity in an enthusiastic way that may get viewers wondering about how all sorts of things work.
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What's the story?
WHITE RABBIT PROJECT, a spin-off of MythBusters that features that show's build team -- Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara -- investigates a different topic on each episode: famous heists, crazy WWII weaponry, technology that grants superpowers. The trio comes up with six examples of each topic -- say, difficult jailbreaks -- then investigates each, showing viewers dramatic reenactments of what happened. The most improbable get the deep-dive treatment, with hosts attempting to replicate difficult stunts such as building a hot-air balloon with primitive equipment. At the end of each show, the investigators crown one of the incidents tops in its category.
Is it any good?
Conducted with zesty scientific curiosity and a healthy appreciation for the powers of a chain saw and a blowtorch, this show is a worthy successor to MythBusters. The setup is only slightly different: Instead of taking on urban legends or cinematic stunts, White Rabbit Project investigates real historical events and ephemera. It also lacks the gung-ho presence of Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage; while Belleci, Byron, and Imahara are affable, they're not quite as much fun. Still, kids and adults alike will get sucked into questions about how this or that works or how people can possibly have done what seems impossible, making this show a natural for whole-family watching and a high-ranking source of stealth STEM.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Grant, Kari, and Tori devise their test plans on MythBusters. Once they've identified their challenge, what steps do they take to gather supplies and prepare their testing area? What types of experts help them, and in what ways do they help them? How do they keep risks of injury to a minimum?
This show offers parents a unique opportunity to show kids the importance of a well-rounded education. What disciplines (math, science, and so on) do the hosts use to set up their experiments? How do you use what you've learned in everyday life?
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