By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Car racing reality show features unsportsmanlike behavior.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series portrays unsportsmanlike behavior as an accepted part of the overall racing culture.
Positive Role Models
The drivers have a passion for racing, but they're often not good sports -- either on or off the racetrack. Not much diversity within the featured group of racers and the people who surround them.
Violence & Scariness
An historic family rivalry between racing teams results in arguing, insults, threats, pushing, shoving, and punching. Races often end in violent crashes. One race ends with a driver purposely ramming his car into a rival's vehicle multiple times.
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Words like "bitch" are audible, while words like "ass" and "s--t" are bleeped. The term "redneck" is used frequently. Small children are seen yelling insults and jeers about racers, and spectators are shown making lewd gestures to drivers.
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Products & Purchases
Cars and driver uniforms often sport labels from local establishments, like a Toyota car dealership.
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).
Where to Watch
Based on 7 parent reviews
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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?
- Premiere date: January 10, 2010
- Cast: Burt Meyers, Junior Miller, Tim Brown
- Network: History
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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.
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Where to Watch
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