Wicked Tuna: North vs. South

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wicked Tuna: North vs. South TV Poster Image
Fishing spin-off has lots of gritty guys, salty language.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This show highlights the difficult, competitive, and potentially dangerous world of tuna fishing in the South. The importance of sustainable fishing is noted. Occasionally subtle stereotypical references are made about people from both the North and the South. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The fisherman are competitive, and some appear to resort to unethical practices. 

Violence

The work can be dangerous at times. Southern fisherman use rifles to shoot various things. There are bloody images of fish being hooked and cut open. 

Sex
Language

Lots of swearing, including words such as "Goddamn" and "bitch"; "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some folks drink moonshine. Champagne is used to celebrate the start of the season, but characters shoot at the bottles rather than drink it. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wicked Tuna: North vs. South will appeal to fans of the Wicked Tuna franchise. It offers lots of the same edgy entertainment, including lots of competitive behavior, salty vocab, and some drinking. Fishermen sometimes find themselves in potentially dangerous situations, and rifles are used to shoot at things, including competitors' equipment. It's more entertaining than educational, but folks will find some interesting fishing information here. 

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What's the story?

The reality spin-off WICKED TUNA: NORTH VS. SOUTH features some of Gloucester, Massachusetts', top fisherman who have traveled to the American South to fish for blue fin tuna. Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise; TJ Ott, captain of the Hot Tuna; and Paul Hebert, co-captain of the Pin Wheel navigate south to the outer banks of North Carolina to see if they can make up for some of the losses they incurred during the northern fishing season. The southern waters become a battle zone as the experienced local fishermen, including Captain Reed Meredith of the Whahoo, Captain Britton Shackelford of the Doghouse, and the Fishin' Frenzy's captain, Greg Mayer, do everything they can to push the Northerners out of their waters while fishing for the majority of the 23-ton (approximately 200-fish) quota imposed on them by the local industry. The southern captains show off their expertise, but the Gloucester teams show that, although they have a lot to learn, they're still a force to be reckoned with.

Is it any good?

The Wicked Tuna spin-off follows the same formula of the original series, which includes showing captains and their crews baiting, hooking, reeling in, and selling blue fins for a premium. It also introduces some of the southern region's fishing captains, who have as much talent and competitive spirit as their colleagues from the North. 

A lot of attention is paid to the region's important, but limiting, sustainable fishing practices that make tuna fishing challenging. Meanwhile, the competitiveness among the captains gets to be a little much at times. But folks who like fishing, and fans of the original show, will definitely find this worth watching. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of hunting and fishing shows on TV. What is it about these activities that make them interesting to viewers? What are some of the controversies surrounding them? Do reality shows such as this one offer an accurate view of what these activities are like? Or is there an effort to make them seem more interesting to appeal to larger audiences? 

TV details

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