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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 this show glorifies the art of being crude, rude, and disgusting. The participants stop at nothing when it comes to taking on stunts; the more cringe-worthy, the better. They frequently put themselves at risk of physical danger and are always taunting each other and putting each other down. Adults who have the sense not to try the stunts for themselves (and don't mind watching people painfully make idiots of themselves) may get some laughs, but for kids, this is shock TV at its worst.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Witness a man getting attacked by police dogs that he purposefully taunts; see someone drink to oblivion and throw up all over the place; view a melee played for all it's worth, with everyone's arms swinging and hitting. These are just some of the pratfalls and antics deemed worthy of this MTV series following Johnny Knoxville and his motley crew of fearless, shameless thrill-seekers. Inspired by a Finnish show called The Dudesons, JACKASS has also earned a big-screen movie of its own and is one of MTV's most popular -- if not highest quality -- offerings.
Is it any good?
If this show were to have another title, it probably ought to be Men Behaving Badly. Or insanely. Or both. In short, Jackass makes no bones about appealing to the adolescent boy in everyone -- and in many ways, it's brilliant at what it does: hooking viewers.
Jackass certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. In fact, it's probably not advisable viewing for anyone under 15, considering the strong language, nudity, and general craziness. Most kids are much too young and much too impressionable to filter through it all and appreciate the laughs without mimicking the guys' sometimes-dangerous audacity. And no one wants to have their teenager chased down by guard dogs simply because they're trying to replicate what they see on TV.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what drives people to do stunts like these, when they'll most likely get hurt and at the very least end up looking like complete fools. What's the attraction? Is the rush from performing these silly, wacky, and outrageous derring-dos worth the trouble? Families can also discuss the difference between daring and bad taste. Where do you draw the line? And what about when other people are involved? What's the difference between playing a funny practical joke and being cruel?