A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It offers brief scientific reasons why challenges are hard to complete without sleep. Greed and the willingness to go to extremes for money are also themes.
Positive Role Models
Contestants are friendly towards each other. They are willing to push themselves mentally and physically to win, but their decisions aren't always good ones.
Violence & Scariness
Some challenges require egg smashing and similar activities, but nothing really violent.
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Products & Purchases
The contestants compete for a million-dollar prize.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Awake: The Million Dollar Game features extremely sleep-deprived people competing for a cash prize. Hosted by comedian James Davis, the physical and mentally compromised contestants are expected to under-perform, which is presented as funny. Some of the challenges require folks to smash eggs on their protected faces or similar activities, but there's nothing truly violent. Messages could be drawn about the importance of sleep to a person's well-being, and the various things that can impact a good night's slumber.
Is It Any Good?
This exploitative but amusing series reveals how sleep deprivation impacts people's ability to function, especially when they're expected to make strategic decisions during a game show. Some of the fun comes from watching the contestants struggle through challenges that range from weird stunts to mundane everyday tasks. But the real entertainment comes from tension created by the buy-outs, which require contestants to make high stakes decisions while completely exhausted.
It's meant to be lighthearted reality fare. However, Awake: The Million Dollar Game also relies on the willingness of people to temporarily put their physical and mental well-being aside for the sake of winning some cash. Meanwhile, putting extremely sleep-deprived people who are barely functioning on a stage to under-perform feels a bit like a torture session. Some folks will enjoy it, but it also makes you wonder how far people will go to win a buck or two.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.