Downfall

Common Sense Media says

Greed, waste trip up high-stakes game show.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show’s format encourages contestants’ greed by forcing them to risk their existing winnings for the chance to win even more. There’s also a great deal of waste involved, as prizes (or replicas of prizes, as they’re said to be) are sent tumbling off the building to smash into pieces when participants fail a challenge.

Positive role models

Most contestants are good sports in both victory and defeat.

Violence

No violence, but contestants who fail to meet the show’s challenges are dropped off the edge of a 10-story building on a bungee cord.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Frequent use of “oh my God.” 

Consumerism

Non-cash prizes include cars, vacations, etc. -- with brands shown/mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, as with most game shows, contestants on Downfall are forced to gamble their winnings for the opportunity to score even more cash and prizes, so greed is often a factor in their decisions. Environmentally conscious viewers may also take issue with the show’s wastefulness in sending “replicas” of unclaimed prizes (which look just like the real things) over the building’s edge to smash into pieces. The show isn’t meant for little kids, since most of the trivia will be over their heads, and very young ones might be startled by seeing people dropped off the building (via bungee cord) when they lose a challenge. That said, the quiz portion of the show is fun to play along with, so tweens and teens might enjoy the high-stakes game.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's the story?

In DOWNFALL, contestants must answer trivia questions under the pressure of watching their potential prizes and cash earnings move ever closer to the edge of the 10-story building they’re standing on. In each round, contestants can win an increasing amount of money -- with a possible grand prize of a $1 milion -- along with prizes like furniture, vacations, and cars. The prizes and cash are set on a conveyor belt that ends at the building’s edge, and if the contestant doesn’t answer the trivia questions quickly enough, they’re sent crashing over the edge – the same fate the player faces (on a bungee cord, of course) if he fails the test.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This high-stakes game show is hosted by pro wrestler Chris Jericho, whose exuberant personality is a perfect match for the series' extreme nature. Downfall's concept takes the traditional game show to a new level (100 feet up, to be exact), since it’s impossible to believe that watching expensive prizes (and in some cases, people, as the contestants must bring a willing supporter to ride the belt and also risk dropping by bungee) literally escape your grasp wouldn’t affect your ability to answer trivia questions.

Unfortunately, the show's positive points are obscured by its surprising tolerance of waste. While those in charge claim that the doomed prizes that take a nosedive off the building are actually replicas of the real things, it’s still hard to stomach watching these “fake” dishes, tables, and cars tumble into oblivion. Greed is also a concern, since the contestants essentially are betting their winnings for a chance to take home more. Still, although the show isn’t for little kids, families with tweens and teens might enjoy pitting their own trivia knowledge against each other -- and the contestants'.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about greed. In general, do you think society encourages or discourages greed? What examples can you think of? Do you ever find yourself being greedy?

  • Tweens: Do you like game shows? What, if any, positive messages can be taken from them? Why are so many modern game shows so extreme in nature? How does this show compare to other game shows you’ve seen?

  • What are the benefits of competition? What can you learn by putting yourself in a high-pressure situation? What role does sportsmanship play in competition? How important is it?

TV details

Cast:Chris Jericho
Network:ABC
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Downfall was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byEvent Horizon October 18, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

I'll get my facts other places

It's hard to watch this show. I mean, I love watching gameshows and stuff falling off a 100 ft. building as much as anybody else, but this just feels so wasteful. The "replicas" are exactly like the real thing, and it is hard to buy into that they aren't wasteful. The trivia is either super easy or super hard, with little medium, and it all feels like a waste of time. I'll just watch Jeopardy! followed by Mythbusters and get twice as much enjoyment.
Teen, 14 years old Written byFlaming Pencil April 28, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Could have been better...

The format was fine, but it needed some variation. Why not have different ways to fall off a building? A cage, getting pelted by ball during the decent, anything else to spruce it up. For a budget show, it does a fine job, though. Prizes are product placement standards, but is so cool to see them careen off the edge off the building.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools