Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Born to Explore with Richard Wiese

Born to Explore with Richard Wiese

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Rating: TV G

Richard Wiese is a lucky guy. "I've been an explorer my entire life," he says, explaining that he loves meeting new people and visiting new places. His authentic passion comes through, as he travels the world to find enlightening and inspiring stories of people and animals in the program Born to Explore with Richard Wiese.

For example, he travels to Namibia to visit Dr. Laurie Marker, who runs the Cheetah Wildlife Fund. Her love of cheetahs is evident as the big cats purr next to her, she explains that they are the "most unique" of the 37 species of big cats. She also talks to Wiese about how she helps to rescue and release cheetahs to help make sure they do not become an endangered species.

In another episode, Wiese voyages to Botswana to talk to a couple who has lived with elephants their entire lives. The elephants are beautiful and fascinating, as is their relationship with the humans who coexist with them. Wiese then goes to England to visit a swan sanctuary. Just watching how he and other experts hug the large birds— their elegant, long necks wrapping around Richard's to rest against his shoulder— is amazing. And finally Wiese heads to Dartmoor, England, where a special breed of ponies— Dartmoor ponies— help rehabilitate a troubled teen.

The show knows its audience. Well-crafted stories connect with viewers by putting history, geography, wildlife, and diverse cultures in context that makes sense and instills sensibility. The segments are just the right length, bring in just the right emotion and instill just the right amount of awe.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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Litton Entertainment

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