One Man Army

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
One Man Army TV Poster Image
Vets and ex-cops show off military skills for cash prizes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Strong messages promoting hard work and dedication to improving both body and mind.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The show's contestants are mostly former U.S. military and police officers. Their dedication to physical and mental excellence is illustrated by their ability to accomplish the difficult tasks. On the other hand, the host and contestants provide an example of coarse language and somewhat intolerant behavior.


While there is no direct physical violence between contestants, the show's challenges revolve around reenactments of possible situations encountered in war or during violent police actions. Firearms are plentiful and are used as part of actual competitions on the show.


Plenty of "damn" and "hell," with stronger words bleeped, especially "s--t." The dynamic between contestants frequently relies upon thinly-veiled trash talking and insults.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality competition series could be viewed as glorifying the violence of warfare and police activity, since the competitions focus on reenacting combat scenarios and challenging former military and police in their ability to complete tasks. At the same time, the contestants demonstrate a high level of physical and intellectual accomplishment in service to their country and community. While the show's action may be too intense for younger viewers, teens and older may find a strong positive message at the heart of the series.

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What's the story?

ONE MAN ARMY is a reality competition series hosted by Mykel Hawke, former U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and former Green Beret, featuring contestants who are the best of the best in both military and police training. In each episode, four of these contestants face off against each other in a series of challenges that test their speed, strength, and intelligence. The challenges attempt to emulate actual scenarios the contestants may have faced in warfare or in dealing with crime on the streets. After the challenges, the one contestant left standing earns a cash prize.

Is it any good?

There are enough reality shows out there featuring clueless nobodies trying to crawl through mud puddles or survive a few weeks in the jungle without indoor plumbing that it's refreshing to watch a show that actually spotlights contestants who are very good at what they do.

One Man Army gives some of the country's most highly-trained soldiers and public safety officers the chance to show off their skills in challenges that illustrate the extremely high level of physical and mental sharpness they must achieve to be so good at their jobs. Make no mistake: This is a show that glorifies the instruments of war, especially guns. At the same time, it's impossible to dispute that these are brave men who've made great personal sacrifices for their country, and so it's appealing to watch them have a chance to display their skills. There's the strong opportunity for great positive messaging to teens about the rewards of hard work.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's depiction of gun violence. Does watching the contestants using big guns make you want to try them too? Do you think the show glorifies war and combat?

  • How do the contestants on the show demonstrate their unique skills? What kind of work do you think they had to do in order to gain those skills?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality television

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