A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
In theory, the message of the show -- that bullying is bad -- is positive. But the way that the bullies are taught a lesson -- using violence (albeit structured and supervised violence) -- is much less so.
Positive Role Models
The way that the participants choose to deal with their bullies isn't something that you'd want real-life kids imitating. There's also plenty of confrontation, trash talk, and the like.
Violence & Scariness
About half of the show is devoted to training and fighting. Opponents punch, kick, push, and put choke holds on each other, although a referee (and trained medical staff) is available at all times during the match, and fighters can "tap out" when they need a break. Viewers might see small amounts of blood.
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Frequent use of the word "ass" and other colorful terms like "douche bag," "man boobs," and "fat boy." For example, the host says of one bully: "Ryan has the body of a meat head and the personality of a douche bag. If you connected him into links, he'd be douche sausage."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that half of this show is devoted to physical violence -- specifically, cage fighting -- and that the objective is to teach bullies not to pick on victims by having them go head to head with professional-level martial artists. There's also some salty language (think "hell" and "ass") and heavy use of provocative statements like this: "Yo, bring us your bully, and we'll beat him down."
Is It Any Good?
Fans of mixed martial arts action, especially those who know what it's like to be picked on by a bully, will dig this trumped-up revenge scenario that puts up to $10,000 cash in the pockets of the bully's victim. Others might be midly entertained at best.
But the show is at its most satisfying when the bully and victim can actually resolve their differences outside the ring, as in the episode in which a victim and his battered and bruised bully -- who just so happens to be his much bigger younger brother -- ultimately embraced and said "I love you." The reconciliation not only seemed genuine, but it also gave this reality-based game show a much-needed dose of humanity.
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.