Danger by Design

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Danger by Design TV Poster Image
The science of stunt performing good for curious teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series showcases the science that goes into designing equipment, costumes, and successfully performing stunts. It also warns viewers to never try these stunts at home.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nik Wallenda likes to take chances and uphold the family name, but he and the crew are equally concerned about safety. The Wallendas are a very close family and believe in God and prayer.


The stunts featured here are done without nets, and can result in serious injury or death. Stunt testing phases often leads to falls, but mats are used to break the fall. The death of people previously performing specific stunts are discussed and occasionally shown.


Some mild sexual innuendo, including a reference to a guy's "nuts."


Occasional strong words like "bitch" are bleeped. Rare innuendo or references to "nuts."


Performances occur at places like the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and other major tourist areas.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Danger by Design shows how members of the famous stunt-performing Wallenda family use science to develop and perform dangerous stunts without safety nets. The series contains some very occasional innuendo that will go over younger kids heads, as well as some occasional bleeped words (like "bitch"). Performances take place at major tourist areas around the world. Viewers of all ages are reminded to never try what they see here at home.

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What's the story?

DANGER BY DESIGN is a reality series following daredevil and stunt man Nik Wallenda cheating death through science, skill, and discipline. Wallenda and his crew, including wife Erendira, travel the country performing dangerous stunts without a net to impress audiences. With the help of father and safety coordinator Terry, and his Uncle Mike as his lead engineer, Nik uses science and experience to design and construct equipment that allows him to make acts, like performing acrobatics on a swing pole and riding a motorcycle on a high wire, even more challenging and unique. During the testing phase they're able to decide if the stunt is possible, but it is up to Nik to perform each stunt safely and successfully.

Is it any good?

The series shows how Nik Wallenda and his crew use science and raw courage to continue the Wallenda family legacy of performing gravity-defying stunts. Specifically, it shows how they apply the laws of physics and engineering principles to build equipment, and to minimize the chance of getting hurt or falling during the performances.

The simple explanations offered here, as well as the discoveries they make during testing phases, are very informative. However, the real highlight of the series is watching and listening to the Wallendas perform their acts, which can often be seen and heard from cameras and microphones placed up in the air with them. It's definitely entertaining, but viewers are reminded to never try anything that they see here at home.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what drives stunt performers to do the work they do. Is it tradition? The audiences? The adrenaline rush? How does science help them stay safe?


  • Do you learn anything from watching a show like this? Is this show intended to be educational?

TV details

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