Driving Force

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Driving Force TV Poster Image
High-speed reality show is OK for teen car lovers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

It's fun to win, but it's also OK to mess up once in a while.

Violence

Some car crashes within the racing context.

Sex
Language

Moderate: "pain in my ass," "pissed," "God damn it," "bitch," etc. "S--t" is bleeped out.

Consumerism

Some of the cars are sponsored by corporations, but it's relatively unobtrusive.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that John Force and his wife Laurie have an unorthodox relationship. They live in separate houses and often make jokes about not getting along. For much of his daughters' youth, John was on the road racing while Laurie raised them. Now that they're grown up, he often has difficulty relating to them, sometimes acting more like a coach than a dad.

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What's the story?

In A&E's DRIVING FORCE, National Hot Rod Association drag racing champion John Force takes viewers on a wild ride as he both guides and, at times, struggles to maintain a hands-off attitude while his three daughters embark on their own racing careers. Driving Force is much more about the Force family dynamics than it is about racing. In each episode, John mentors and gives pointers to his daughters, all of whom are following in his racing footsteps: Ashley, 23, a former Rookie of the Year who has a Barbie Doll and Hot Wheels car named after her; Brittany, a 19-year-old college student; and Courtney, 17. In between traveling en masse from race to race and being a loving dad, John falls into coach mode, pressuring his daughters to win their races. When he becomes too tough on them, wife Laurie must remind him that above all, he's their father.

Is it any good?

John Force is a gruff character, and his harsh exterior belies his heart of gold. The show's humor comes from his interaction with his family; though they respect him, his daughters sometimes think he's out of touch, and their jokes and banter let him know it. Laurie isn't afraid to wear the pants, and it's entertaining to see her put John in his place.

Still, the Forces are a pretty unorthodox family, and viewers might be put off by their language and lifestyle (in one episode, for example, John jokes that he and his wife only get along because they live apart –- in two homes near each other.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how much influence a parent should have in a child's career choice. When is it OK for a parent to give advice, and when should mothers and fathers step aside and let their kids make their mistakes and learn from them?

TV details

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