What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this unique reality competition demonstrating modern-day extreme jousting tournaments features frequent bloody injuries, some serious, despite safety features in place to protect jousters and horses. Competitors use occasional mild language, with some stronger vocab bleeped. The series offers lots of interesting information about the history and evolution of the sport. Viewers of all ages should be reminded never to attempt what they see here at home.
What's the story?
FULL METAL JOUSTING features men participating in an extreme version of jousting, a 21st-century version of one of the Middle Age's most dangerous contact sports. The 16 contestants are divided into two teams and are coached by trainers like full-metal jousting founder Shane Adams, jousting world champion Ripper Moore, and Rod Walker, the founder of the International Jousting Association, on the skill, speed, and precision required to score points during passes and ultimately un-horse their opponents. Each week jousters from each team are chosen to suit up in specially designed armor and charge and collide with each other at high speeds while using their flexible lances to knock each other out of the competition. High-speed cameras capture the specific hits each rider endures so that the points for each pass can be calculated. The man who wins the final match of the overall competition takes home $100,000 and the title of Full Metal Jousting Champion.
Is it any good?
The series offers an entertaining look at how the Medieval sport, versions of which are normally featured at Renaissance festivals and other entertainment venues, has been restored into a powerful event that reflects the honor, tradition, and courage it stood for 5,000 years ago. It also offers interesting details about the history of jousting, as well as about the armor, lances, and other equipment developed for its modern-day equivalent. Throughout each episode, Adam offers additional details about jousters' technique, as well as the rules of the game.
It's interesting, and the matches are often dramatic thanks to the brutal nature of the sport, which requires jousters to be hit hard with lances at top speeds without having any way of defending themselves from the impact. These testosterone-laced violent scenes are offered in context, but it would be best to remind viewers of all ages that what they see here is occurring in very controlled environments, and should never be tried at home.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about things they learn on TV. Does watching this show teach you anything? Does it inspire you to seek out more information? What kinds of shows are the best at combining education and entertainment?
Is it fair to characterize major contact sports as violent sports? Why or why not? How does the media portray athletes who participate in these sports? Are we proud of them when they sustain serious injuries and keep going? Do you think this is a good thing?