The Dangerous Book for Boys is the upcoming Amazon Prime-exclusive series from Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, although his role as the father in Malcolm in the Middle will be more apt here) and Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland).
It’s based on the bestselling 2006 non-fiction book of the same name by Conn and Hal Iggulden, which is a essentially a guidebook for children both young and old on how to perform traditional, non-digital, boyish activities like building treehouses, go-carts, or paper planes, how to skim stones over water, find true north, and other oft-forgotten entertaining activities that don’t involve staring at a screen. I remember those days fondly, the army men I’d blow up with firecrackers after building their sand fort in the back yard not so much I imagine.
And if you’re wondering, like I was, how they’re turning a non-fiction guidebook into a TV series, they’re using the concept of the book as a storytelling tool. In the series three young boys have recently lost their father, and to help them overcome his loss he left behind The Dangerous Book for Boys to encourage them to explore the outside world and bond with each other through shared adventures.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
Inspired by the best-selling book, The Dangerous Book for Boys is heartwarming story of a family overcoming loss with the help of a book filled with life lessons that was handed down from a father to his three boys. The book inspires adventurous fantasies in the youngest son, Wyatt, that teaches him how to bring his family closer and move forward.
Let’s take a look:
I think this looks like a very sweet and sincere take on overcoming loss… but one mostly for young viewers. It doesn’t have the most subtle messaging I’ve ever seen, but it does seem earnest in its intentions and invokes a sense of innocence and wonder to overcome its heartache. As a somewhat older viewer I think it comes across as overly sentimental, although it could turn out to be a bit of a guilty pleasure as a reminder of simpler times.
What do you think?
The Dangerous Book for Boys will premier its six-episode-long first season, with each episode being 30 minutes long, via Amazon Prime on 30 March. It stars Gabriel Bateman, Drew Powell, Kyan Zlielinski, Erinn Hayes, and Chris Diamontopoulos.
Last Updated: February 21, 2018