World of Jenks

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
World of Jenks TV Poster Image
Docu offers thoughtful insight into the world of others.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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

Positive Messages

The series deals with some very difficult, complex issues -- including violent pasts, racism, homelessness, and other issues. But these topics are addressed within the context of discovery and understanding. Themes include compassion and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jenks attempts to be as sensitive and non-judgmental as possible when spending time with the people whose lives he's documenting.


Some of the people that Jenks moves in with have violent pasts. Others become violent (pushing, shoving, hitting) when Jenks asks questions and/or when cameras are filming them. 


Some strong sexual innuendo. Some of the people Jenks lives with admit to being promiscuous; references are made to sexual activities. Jenks is shown peeing against a wall (but no nudity is shown). References to sex workers.


Words like “bitch” are audible, while curses like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Visible consumption of beer, hard alcohol (like vodka), and mixed drinks. Alcoholism and drugs are discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World of Jenks -- a documentary series that follows filmmaker Andrew Jenks as he lives with strangers to learn more about their lives -- explores some mature topics, including child abandonment, homelessness, racism, violence, alcoholism, and more. But it does so with the express purpose of learning more about people to better understand them. You can also expect some strong language (though the strongest words are bleeped), sexual innuendo, and drinking (beer, hard liquor). Some of the people Jenks gets to know have violent pasts; occasionally, arguing, pushing, shoving, and hitting are visible.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLayneE October 7, 2010

Interesting "reality" show. It's actually...real!

Andrew hosts a good show. It's nice to see a different point of view. While some of the episodes have drinking and cussing (Maino mainly), Andrew discusses... Continue reading
Parent Written byPlague September 17, 2010

World of Jenks

This is a fun show to watch, and family-friendly as well.
Teen, 17 years old Written byChubbster December 2, 2010

Very positive.

This show is awesome! It shows that lots of people have difficult but exciting lives. He's willing to do anything for them. I think its great for all ages.

What's the story?

WORLD OF JENKS follows award-winning young filmmaker Andrew Jenks as he moves in with total strangers to learn the untold stories of their lives. In each episode, Jenks spends a week living, traveling, and interacting with a person he’s never met before -- like a New York City rapper, an incarcerated juvenile, or a young homeless woman in San Francisco. He also talks to each subject's friends and family. And at the end of each week, he describes some of the insight that he's gained from the overall experience.

Is it any good?

The show has a lot to offer, but the half-hour episodes don't allow enough time to fully appreciate what Jenks learns from each experience. And viewers don’t really get enough time to familiarize themselves with the people Jenks shadows either. But overall, the series is an interesting -- and insightful -- look at the lives of people throughout America.

World of Jenks follows the in the storytelling footsteps of Jenks’ critically acclaimed film Andrew Jenks, Room 335, which documented his time living in a senior assisted living facility at the age of 19. Like the film, the show offers viewers a unique chance to gain a better, more perceptive understanding of people’s lives -- without relying on preconceived notions and/or stereotypes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about documentaries. How is a "documentary series" different than a "reality show"? Is one inherently more trustworthy or truthful? Why? In which category would you put World of Jenks?

  • Do you think Jenks’ way of learning about people’s lives is effective? What are some of the challenges associated with his strategy? Is there someone you'd like to move in with to learn more about?

  • How does World of Jenks promote compassion and empathy? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love true stories

Character Strengths

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