Escape Routes

Common Sense Media says

One giant commercial for the Ford Motor Company.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The teams are competing for money and prizes. Much of the competition also highlights the way that social media can be used to help the contestants.

Positive role models

The diverse group of competitors is made of up best friends and siblings who usually get along well.

Violence

Occasional mild arguments between teams and teammates. Challenges require folks to hang from or fall from tall buildings, fly dogfighter planes, and other wild stunts, but safety gear is always used.

Sex

Very rare instances of mild sexual innuendo (like the phrase "open your legs to do a cartwheel") that will likely go over young viewers' head.

Language

Words like "damn" are occasionally audible.

Consumerism

The teams drive Ford Escapes; Ford is a major sponsor of the show. Car services like MyFord Touch and Ford SYNC are also prominently featured. Apple computers and iPads are frequently visible. References are continually made to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and various online social applications and game makers like Zynga.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that reality competition series Escape Routes is a promotional vehicle for Ford Motor Company; Ford Escapes and their proprietary navigating services are major parts of the show. Apple computers, iPads, and various online games and apps are also featured. Overall, Escape Routes' content is pretty mild, but there's a bit of catty arguing that the host seems to stoke a bit. Competitions include stunts like hanging off of buildings and flying fighter planes, but safety gear is always used.

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What's the story?

Reality game show ESCAPE ROUTES pits six teams against each other in a national road trip competition. The contestants spend six weeks traveling to Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, and Las Vegas; at each destination, they compete in a series of adventurous challenges to earn points. Helping with each one is a crew of virtual teammates consisting of friends, family, and anyone else who's joined escaperoutes.com to help them play the game. The teams must also participate in an interactive challenge that's judged by the online community. Luckily, they've got social media guru Justine Ezarik (AKA iJustine) to help. The team with the most points at the end of the competition wins $100,000 and two brand new Ford Escapes. In between show segments are invitations to sign up on the show's website, as well as call-outs for local \"real-time\" participants at each destination city.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Each one-hour episode of Escape Routes packs in crazy challenges, high-action stunts, and other events that characterize reality destination competitions. But what makes this show unique is its reliance on social media and a virtual audience to add interesting twists to the game. The constant online streaming of the team's activities and other online show-related activities also adds to Escape Routes' appeal.

It's fun, but the obvious and constant promotion of Ford Motors' products and services makes Escape Routes feel like one big commercial. And at times it also seems like host Rossi Morreale is trying to stir up lukewarm drama between participants to generate more audience interest. But if you can see past this, you'll definitely find some entertaining moments here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different ways that reality shows serve as promotional vehicles for products and services. What are some of the advertising techniques used to market to viewers? When do these shows blur the line between highlighting product brands (a.k.a. "branding") and being one big giant commercial?

  • Does this show cross a line when it comes to promoting a brand into the show? Or are they just being more open about the fact that they're trying to sell a brand? Parents: Get tips about talking to your kids about some of these issues.

TV details

Cast:Justine Ezarik, Rossi Morreale
Network:NBC
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Cars and trucks
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Escape Routes was written by

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.

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Quality

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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.

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