A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show makes silly, dangerous stunts look easy and fun, which could make kids even more inclined to try them at home.
Positive Role Models
The stars engage in non-stop risky stunts. Pastrana's home, which includes a huge waterslide and several big ramps, fosters a frat-house-like environment in which the gang spends all their time cooking up one outrageous feat after another. They get creative, but they also egg each other on to try dangerous tricks, and it's easy to imagine viewers following suit.
Violence & Scariness
Lots and lots of dangerous/outrageous/silly stunts, from motorcycle jumps to leaping out of an airplane without a parachute to rolling office chair jumps. Many are conducted without much in the way of safety precautions, and the stars do take some hard hits/falls -- but all things considered, there are remarkably few injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some blurred nudity during a few crazy stunts when the participants' bathing suits fall down.
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Some words are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, while this extreme stunt series isn't as crude as Jackass and its ilk, many of the tricks look so easy and fun that kids might be inspired to follow suit, which could lead to injuries. The show offers little explanation or commentary -- just shot after shot of young men (and they're almost all men) flying over ramps, shooting down precarious water slides, flipping their motorcycles, and doing any other crazy tricks they can come up with. Some are truly death-defying (leaping from a plane with no parachute), while others are just silly (rolling off a ramp on a wheeled office chair) -- but most end in spills and crashes. The group's surprisingly low injury rate is a testament to their skills, not a sign that kids will be fine if they follow suit.
Is It Any Good?
The show stars with a standard disclaimer: The performers are trained athletes, and viewers shouldn't try to imitate them. Pastrana and his friends crash more often than they succeed, but for all the painful-looking spills, there are surprisingly few injuries, and there's plenty of laughter all around. The result is that Nitro Circus makes practicing difficult, dangerous stunts look like a Saturday afternoon party at Pastrana's house ... which seems like exactly the mood that could make young people want to spend their own free time copying them, with potentially disastrous results.
Plus, with little narration or discussion, Nitro Circus seems less like a program and more like a highlight reel. Sure, some of these feats are truly impressive, but they'd have more impact if there was some explanation about why they're so difficult. And many of the tricks are just plain goofy -- rolling off a huge ramp in a wheeled office chair, for example, or doing flips on tricycles. Pastrana and his posse are clearly having plenty of fun filming themselves, but watching Nitro Circus isn't nearly as entertaining as creating it seems to be.
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Our Editors Recommend
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