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, despite its provocative title, this is not a rehash of The Bad Girls Club -- Oxygen's other original series about tough women who like to fight each other. Here, the women are assertive rather than asinine and -- through their dedication and commitment to their sport (martial arts) -- prove themselves worthy of role-model status. Drinking, swearing, and other types of iffy behavior are kept to a minimum, making this an interesting, entertaining show that families with older tweens and young teens can watch together. But the graphic nature of the fighting segments takes it off the list for younger kids.
What's the story?
FIGHT GIRLS is Oxygen's reality show about 10 women competing for the chance to take on the best female Muay Thai fighters in the world. The contenders have a wide variety of backgrounds, from an aspiring psychic to a Hooters waitress with a black belt in karate. They're aided in their training by a world-renowned Muay Thai sensei and a pair of female mentors: mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano and Muay Thai fighter Lisa King.
Is it any good?
You'd think that squeezing a group of well-formed women who love to fight into the same living space would be a recipe for Jerry Springer-style brawls. But it's exactly the opposite in Fight Girls. The most compelling aspect of Fight Girls isn't really the fighting itself, although that does prove pretty riveting. It's the fact that so much of the typical reality show hoo-hah -- the casual sex, the catfights, the serial binge drinking -- is noticeably absent. Instead, the focus seems to be on the individual journeys of 10 remarkably complex and downright interesting women who support each other more often than they attack each other. Well, outside the ring, anyway.
If you take away the estrogen, Fight Girls is a lot like Spike TV's Ultimate Fighter, which follows the experiences of 16 male martial artists living under the same roof. But no serious study of fighting would be complete without the now-classic Fight Club (for mature teens and adults, anyway) ... just remember not to talk about it afterward.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about gender and female stereotypes. Do women fight differently than men? Could a woman beat a man in a kickboxing fight or a boxing match? And does it surprise you to see that a woman who enjoys hand-to-hand combat also enjoys "girly" things like pedicures?
What are the differences between "good" fighting (as seen in a sanctioned sport like Muay Thai or boxing) and "bad" fighting (as seen on the playground or in the hallways at school)?
Why is it OK for a professional fighter to punch someone inside the ring but not OK to do it to a random person out on the street?