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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 NASCAR-focused reality series is likely to appeal to kids who like cars and racing, but the show’s emphasis on the rivalries between the drivers makes for some iffy content. The drivers engage in unsportsmanlike behavior -- including hurling insults, punching each other, and purposely ramming other drivers' cars -- and the language is pretty strong, too (“bitch” is audible, while curses like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MADHOUSE follows four NASCAR modified racecar drivers -- Tim Brown, Chris Fleming, Junior Miller, and Burt Meyers -- during a summer racing season at North Carolina’s Bowman Gray Stadium. In each episode, the drivers and their friends and families spend endless hours and thousands of dollars optimizing and repairing their cars in preparation for that week’s race. In between working in the garage and driving laps around the track, they struggle to earn the money to finance their participation in the sport. Meanwhile, the drivers also spend time talking up the historic and volatile rivalries that exist between them and their families.
Is it any good?
Madhouse looks at NASCAR racing from the perspective of people who are extremely passionate about the sport. It offers some explanation about what goes into modified racecars to improve their speed and handling on the racetrack and looks at race rules and procedures.
While the show does provide some insight into the NASCAR racing culture, the drivers spend too much time fueling the rivalries that exist between some of the racing families. Insults and threats are frequent, and accusations of “playing dirty” lead to fistfights, brawls, and arrests. Kids who like cars and racing will be drawn to the show, but it doesn’t send very positive messages about the sport and/or sportsmanship in general.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sportsmanship. What does it mean to be a good sport? Does athletes' sportsmanship impact the way that sports are played? How does it impact the way a sport (and the athletes who play it) are viewed in the media?
What are some of the stereotypes associated with NASCAR driving/drivers? Does the media perpetuate these stereotypes? How? What about this show specifically?
For kids who love reality TV
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.