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, as in the original Japanese series it's based on, this game show's entertainment value comes from watching contestants awkwardly contort their bodies to try to fit through holes cut out of a moving barrier -- only to get swept into a pool of water when they fail. Contestants often look clumsy, but unlike earlier versions of the show they look like they are genuinely having fun. Although the stunts seem pretty harmless, remind kids that trying them may lead to serious injury.
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What's the story?
Based on a Japanese game show, HOLE IN THE WALL has a simple premise: Two teams of three people dressed in spandex and helmets try to contort their bodies to fit through shapes cut out in a large wall that's moving toward them. Teams gain or lose points based on their ability to clear the moving barrier; those who fail to clear a hole also get swept into a pool of water. The team that accumulates the most points after four rounds wins the coveted Hole in the Wall trophy. They also get a chance to play a final round for a chance to be immortalized on the show's wall of fame.
Is it any good?
This stunt-based game show almost looks like a live-action version of the video game Tetris as the players attempt to fit into openings of various shapes and sizes. But unlike the electronic version, this game is more about watching people awkwardly shift their bodies and get shoved into water by the moving barrier.
Unlike earlier versions of the show, the series aims at being family friendly by featuring teams of parents and children. While there is some competitive behavior, everyone on the show seems to be genuinely having fun. The overall humor isn't intended to be insulting, either. It's not the most intelligent of shows, but viewers will probably find themselves laughing at some of the antics.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what drives people to participate in game shows -- particularly those that make them look silly and/or clumsy. Is it just for the prizes, or is it for the chance to be on television? Do you think these kinds of shows ever go too far?
Discuss why some Japanese game shows remain popular on television. What makes them different from American game shows? Are the U.S. versions of these shows different from the originals? How? Are any American game shows exported to Japan?