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 the truck drivers featured in this reality show are always at risk of accidents and even death -- which the narrator emphasizes regularly. Some scenes include mild to moderate accidents, though injuries aren't shown. The narrator also describes deadly accidents from the past while graphics and stock footage (like shots from below the ice as the trucks drive over it) hint at impending danger. The truckers sometimes engage in coarse humor (one moons the camera, though his butt is blurred onscreen), and occasional jokes about "peckers" and "kinky underwear" pepper the dialogue, but it doesn't go further than that.
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What's the story?
Up in Canada, where diamond mining companies like DeBeers have set up shop digging through the ice for riches, a hearty group of men make a living driving trucks over frozen terrain, taking serious risks to feed their families and feel the thrill of danger. ICE ROAD TRUCKERS follows the day-today lifestyle of the guys who dare to drive the treacherous roads, as well as those who keep their trucks and roadways in good working order. With a mix of on-the-road footage and interviews with the truckers and their families, this illuminating series offers a peek into an occupation most of us have never even heard of.
Is it any good?
Lurking behind scenes of lighthearted macho fraternizing (like mooning the camera before taking the regulation pee-in-a-cup drug test) is the job's ever-present danger. The narrator describes past incidents in which drivers have dropped through the ice and died. And in one episode, an overconfident driver takes a turn too sharply and drives into a ditch, which poses the question: Will his next mistake be deadly?
The show features gritty characters, from veteran Alex -- who's quick with a joke and proud of his 11 children and seven grandchildren -- to twenty-something Jay, who's been on the road since he was 16 and is well respected for his smarts and professionalism. These big personalities keep Ice Road Truckers interesting, but viewers without a taste for rough-and-tumble guy humor -- or the show's inherent tension and somewhat salty language -- may not be in it for the long haul.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of shows like this and Deadliest Catch. What's so fascinating about getting a glimpse of these dangerous jobs? Do you think these shows are more or less realistic than other reality series? Families can also discuss trucking in general. What would be appealing about being a trucker? What would be the hardest part of the job? Why are most truckers men? Would you take the risks the "ice road truckers" take? If so, would you do it for the money or the thrill?
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