A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show features a diverse group of contestants and rewards teamwork, perseverance, a positive attitude, and health. That said, the focus is often on the "weakest link" and personality conflicts, and you could argue that it's a bit exploitative to put people who struggle with their weight on display.and personality conflicts. Diverse group.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of very emotional scenes that include crying or yelling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
At least one contestant says having a better sex life is one of her reasons for trying to lose weight. Occasional shots of a couple kissing.
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There's a good deal of mild cursing, like "sucks," "hell," "screwed," and "fat-ass," as well as the occasional bleeped word (like "f--k").
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality show is almost exclusively about weight loss. While the subject is treated sensitively and is accompanied by nutritional and lifestyle information, some overweight teens or adults might feel worse about themselves after viewing the show (on the flip side, they might be inspired to make healthy lifestyle changes). This type of extreme-exercise approach isn't something that should be attempted without medical supervision, which isn't made explicitly clear. Occasional references to sex -- as well as frequent mild to moderate profanity -- make this show better for older tweens and teens.
Is It Any Good?
While the mood is generally positive, supportive, and hopeful, occasional problems between team members develop, and the show devotes a good chuck of screen time to these conflicts. Watching the contestants persevere and process the emotions connected to their body image and weight issues is inspirational, but there's a degree of voyeurism, too. Viewers might be tempted to judge the overweight folks, especially the ones who hit emotional walls during the journey. Several members struggle with the daily challenge of walking great distances. Some find the process emotionally challenging, while others struggle with medical issues. In just the first three days of the walk, two team members go to the hospital.
The calculation of the cash reward is slightly confusing. The pot is initially $1.2 million -- which would be $100,000 per contestant -- but for each person who drops out, the individual pots decrease by $10,000. This is designed to keep the team supportive of one another and is a welcome reversal from many cut-throat reality show competitions. But team members also have a chance at each stage to vote a team member off. This is where it gets a little fuzzy. By losing a team member, the winning pots still shrink, but some people feel it's a way to let a struggling member out gracefully, while others just don't want to be weighed down by a straggler. In all, though, the prize math probably won't be what turns you on or off of this show.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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