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Mental Samurai

TV review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Mental Samurai TV Poster Image
Goofy family-friendly game show tests minds and bodies.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Players answer questions in hopes of eventually winning cash. Contestant backstories include making up for major life mistakes, death of a parent, other events.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Contestants are competitive but seem to have fun. Rob Lowe is kind when discussing sensitive stories with contestants.

Violence

The machine spins players around all over the place, but no one gets hurt (or throws up).

Sex
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mental Samurai is a family-friendly game show with a twist -- between answering questions that test their mental skills, contestants are thrown around in a futuristic capsule to throw them off their game. Some of the contestants' backstories address serious issues like the death of a parent, struggling in school, lying, and other mistakes that people want to make up for. These subjects are handled in positive and sensitive ways.

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What's the story?

Hosted by Rob Lowe, MENTAL SAMURAI is a game show designed to test people's mental agility while they're being pushed physically. Contestants are each given five minutes to answer 12 questions that involve solving puzzles, memorization, sequencing information, and knowing trivia. They must answer each one in-between being whipped around 360 degrees at high speeds in a capsule attached to a mechanical arm named "Eva." Those who answer one question wrong or who run out of time are eliminated. Those who succeed make it into the Circle of the Samurai, where they get a chance to compete for $100,000.

Is it any good?

This lively game show features players trying to answer different types of questions while coping with the centripetal forces of an amusement park-like ride. The number of contestants who play in a given episode are many, thanks to the short game time and lack of room for error. Their expressions while they are rotated around at rapid speeds show that a ride in Eva is no joke. While the backstories of some of these folks can be emotional, especially for a goofy game show, Mental Samurai is an overall positive and family-friendly show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons people participate in game shows like Mental Samurai. Is it the challenges they pose? The chance to win cash and prizes? Just to have fun?

  • Why do you think this show is called Mental Samurai?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 19, 2019
  • Cast: Rob Lowe
  • Network: Fox
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love game shows

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