A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The hosts demonstrate a natural, positive curiosity about how movies are made and how special effects are executed. Science and creative engineering are depicted extensively as the show's crew attempts to emulate effects that have been shown on the silver screen.
Positive Role Models
The crew that works on the special effect reenactments may provide some positive examples of applying science knowledge to unusual problems. The show's hosts are especially poor role models for young people, with their predilection for hitting each other in the crotch and laughing about it hysterically.
Violence & Scariness
The tone of the show is built around an appreciation for casual violence inflicted upon friends. This violence is most often directed at the male genitalia. The hosts and crew are constantly hitting each other and then laughing robustly at the reaction to the violence. The objects created for the show's tests of movie special effects are also inevitably used to attack cast and crew.
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Frequent use of "damn," "hell," and "ass"; words such as "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped. Occasional use of "Jesus Christ" as an expletive.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this science reality series takes a juvenile approach to its subject matter with questionable language ("ass," plus bleeped "s--t" and f"--k") and behavior by the hosts throughout. Friends and colleagues frequently engage in a physical play that involves real pain and potential injury (lots of crotch shots). There is some positive content in terms of a creative use of science and a close examination of how movie magic is created, but it's almost completely nullified by the show's tone.
Is It Any Good?
G4's Proving Ground is a good example of a show with a great premise but poor execution. While there have been several science reality series on the airwaves in the wake of the successful Mythbusters, Proving Ground finds a unique variation on the genre with its focus on how amazing special effects were done on screen. Even when focusing on a movie with minor practical effects such as Goonies, the way in which it explores the engineering behind the effects is interesting.
If only there were more exploration and less pointless violence. Host Ryan Dunn is best known for his appearances on the MTV series Jackass, and the show's tone and action is peppered with faux-Jackass humor, focusing almost exclusively on cast and crew being hit in the crotch. Countless shots are interrupted by random acts of violence, greeted with howls of laughter from the crew. It detracts significantly from what could otherwise be a great series.
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.