Country Fried Planet
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this compilation of real-life videos from around the world features extremely dangerous stunts that shouldn't be performed at home -- from going over cliffs in kayaks to swallowing live animals. While some of these feats are simply dumb exploits, others are serious accidents or traditional rituals from different cultures. The accompanying commentary relies on stereotypes to describe the stunts and the people performing them and promotes uninformed ideas about different countries and cultures. Expect some strong sexual innuendo -- including references to human and animal genitals -- and "fake" swearing ("asspole" and "bullsnit," for example).
What's the story?
COUNTRY FRIED PLANET features videos of funny, unusual, and/or embarrassing moments filmed by people from around the world. Each episode presents footage of folks doing things like pushing kayakers into water from cliff tops, swallowing live baby chicks, and pulling buses with ropes tied to their genitals. Meanwhile, host Bill Engvall shares his colorful interpretations of these startling events with the audience.
Is it any good?
The show includes footage of ill-advised, dangerous tricks; random accidents; and clips of religious and cultural practices from all over the world. As a result, all of the activities take on the appearance of being silly, dumb, and/or grotesque -- despite the fact that some result in injury and others are steeped in ancient cultural tradition. Adding to this are some of Engvall's attempts to get laughs by making quips that incorporate ethnic stereotypes. His one-liners also sometimes play on words to make them sound like curses (like "ashpole" and "bullsnit"), and some include not-so-subtle references to human and animal genitalia and various sexual activities.
As if the stereotyping and sexual innuendo weren't enough, the show also treats these stunts and accidents as a form of entertainment, making it harder for young or less-mature viewers to appreciate how risky it is to imitate them. But the biggest concern is that it promotes uninformed assumptions about different countries and cultural practices, basing those assumptions on limited video footage of a very unique set of events. It may seem like harmless fun, but in the end, it doesn't send a great message to anyone.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why people do these types of stunts. What's the appeal of trying things that could hurt or kill you? Does the media perpetuate this behavior by treating videos of these activities as entertainment? Families can also discuss why some cultures perform rituals that cause pain or injury. What is the significance of these activities? Is it OK for the media to make fun of these rituals, even if they don't make sense to most people?