A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that many of the activities featured in this show about unusual pastimes are dangerous, and the danger is frequently shown. In one segment, for example, a woman is bitten by an alligator (though the injury is minor), and the bite is shown repeatedly. Sensitive viewers will be able to tell when the potentially iffy bits coming and avoid them, but none of it is mean-spirited, so it probably won't upset most tweens. Still, if you've got kids who are prone to copying what they see on television, you may want to watch along with them and provide reality checks as necessary.
What's the story?
In WRECKREATION NATION, host Dave Mordal runs around the country seeking out unusual (and often dangerous) ways that folks pass the time or have fun -- such as racing lawnmowers, participating in historical re-enactments, setting up a tug of war across the Mississippi River, or even chess boxing (which is apparently pretty popular in Europe). In most cases, Mordal jumps in enthusiastically, learning the ins and outs of whatever activity is on tap.
Is it any good?
In some respects, the show seems like a slightly smarter version of "Stupid Human Tricks." Mordal is a genial host and guinea pig. He tries pretty much everything he covers (though he didn't do the chess boxing), even if he's scared. In the alligator wrestling segment, for example, he confesses to a morbid fear of reptiles -- and though he complains every step of the way (can you really blame him?), he does get in there and wrestles a couple of small gators.
That the participants are all very passionate about their hobbies (even those that are, frankly, life threatening) is fun -- in fact, their enthusiasm is the best part of the show. You might think wrestling a gator is pretty nuts, but you've got to give a lot of credit to someone who gets bitten and still jumps right back in to try again (it puts a whole new spin on learning from your mistakes. You might not want to race a lawnmower, but, watching the show, you can see why some folks might.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what a show like this teaches viewers. Is it meant to be educational or simply entertaining? Kids: What kinds of hobbies do you have that other people might find unusual? Also, do you think it's a good idea to show potentially dangerous hobbies like pocket bike racing and alligator wrestling on television, even if the danger is pointed out?