Country Fried Planet

 
Video round-up show perpetuates stereotypes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series promotes uninformed, presumptive ideas about different countries and cultures. Cultural and/or religious rituals from other countries are described as "dumb" commentary is stereotypical. Some kids and adults are seen taking risks without using protective gear.

Violence

Features many dangerous stunts -- like pulling/lifting heavy objects with different parts of the body -- that can result in extreme pain and/or injury (though no injuries are actually shown). Accidents like car crashes and being trampled by a horse are shown. The host imitates sounds of being in extreme pain. Also shows punching, pushing, and fighting.

Sex

Lots of sexual innuendo, including references to human and animal genitalia and sexual acts. Specific references to pole dancing and erections. One scene shows men pulling buses with ropes tied to their genitals (though no nudity is shown). Engvall sometimes refers to women as "broads."

Language

Engvall uses stereotypical words like "redneck." He also plays on words to make them sound like curses, like "ashpole" and "bullsnit."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking is occasionally visible.

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).

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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?

QUALITY
 

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?

TV details

Cast:Bill Engvall
Network:CMT
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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