A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game show makes it easy for kids to play along with the contestants, testing their listening comprehension and visual recollection skills in a series of puzzles and quizzes. Players are eliminated at the end of each of three rounds, but they’re always good sports about their fate -- and about their slippery, messy exit down an oversized slide model of the ear canal. Aside from some recurrent potty humor (kids sit in chairs that make farting noises when their answer’s wrong, etc.), there’s little to worry about in this fast-paced game show.
What's the story?
In the game show BRAINSURGE, kids compete in a series of brain-teasing challenges that test their ability to recall visual and auditory information. Each game starts with six contestants (dubbed the “Brainiacs”) who answer a series of questions from host Jeff Sutphen about pictures they’re shown. At the end of the round, the two lowest-scoring players are eliminated and sent home via the \"Brain Drain,\" an oversized slide in the shape of an ear canal that's greased up with a gooey ear wax substitute. Play continues through two more elimination rounds, after which the game’s winner faces one more memory challenge to win a series of prizes -- and a dousing of green slime.
Is it any good?
BrainSurge sticks to tradition when it comes to content -- its oversized set and use of slippery substances bring to mind the station’s slime-covered classic Double Dare. Kids are sure to appreciate the messy nature of the entertainment, but parents will be most excited about the fact that the show’s challenges actually do put kids’ brain power to the test, and that it’s easy for viewers at home to match wits with the contestants.
Despite some mild but recurring potty humor (in one level eliminated contestants are escorted away on a chair that makes farting noises), this fast-paced show is a fun, safe choice for grade-schoolers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competition. What does competing teach you about yourself? What contests have you been a part of? How did you feel when you won? When you lost?
Kids: Do you have any role models who are athletes? Why do you respect and admire them? What do you think of athletes who demonstrate negative behavior?
What other game shows have you seen? How was the format different? Do you like that this show’s contestants are all kids? Do you think there’s some educational quality to its content?
For kids who love games
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.