Parents' Guide to

Bandits vs. Smokies

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Cops-style comedy sends iffy messages.

TV CMT Reality TV 2007
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The stereotypes kick in right off the bat, with comedian/host donning "typical" deputy attire -- complete with impenetrable dark sunglasses -- to oversee each episode as a Southern-talkin' "Smokey." As he introduces the clips, he encourages viewers to get hearty chuckles at the expense of the criminals' poor judgment and misfortune.

Not surprisingly for a show like this, there are plenty of vehicle collisions (with buildings, people, and other cars), but injuries are never shown. More problematic is the often-negative light that the show casts on law enforcement -- thanks to both the host's strongly stereotypical behavior and the goofy thoughts and actions attributed to real cops in the line of duty. While some adults may enjoy the show's broad humor, younger viewers who see what could have been a serious conversation between a cop and a criminal get turned into a seemingly lighthearted exchange of casual jokes might get an inaccurate impression of the right way to interact with police officers and other authority figures.

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