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One Way Out
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 they won't under any circumstances want their kids re-creating the stunts demonstrated in this science-themed show. Each involves some level of dangerous behavior that, in some cases, could be life threatening (putting a live scorpion in one's mouth, getting in a box full of bees, etc.). And while the show's host and his cohorts have the benefit of a trained staff of medics and other experts on hand to supervise the action, your kids won't have that luxury. That said, teens who watch will come away with a fair amount of scientific knowledge, thanks to the host's enthusiasm for his field ... though they could also miss the pro-science message amid all the Jackass-style stunting and self-inflicted pain.
What's the story?
Professional "escapologist" Jonathan Goodwin sets out to test the human threshold for pain and endurance in this extreme stunt show with a scientific twist. It's Goodwin's job to ask the tough questions: How much can the human body accomplish with minimal movement? How does the force of spinning affect the body? What's the science of pain when it comes to getting hit with projectiles? But when it comes to carrying out each experiment, he turns to longtime friend Mikey Nelson, who usually eggs him on like a kid brother, and master builder/engineer Terry Stroud, who backs up each stunt with studied scientific know-how.
Is it any good?
Thanks in large part to extreme stunts that provoke a range of emotions -- horror, fear, shock, wonder, and fascination, just to name a few -- ONE WAY OUT succeeds in serving up instant entertainment and sincere interest in what the charismatic Goodwin and his masochistic crew will cook up next. It's a strange blend of Jackass, MythBusters, and a David Blaine special, and somehow it works.
But that doesn't mean it works for viewers at every age level. Parents with spirited tweens and teens who have the tendency to imitate things they see on TV should be especially vigilant when it comes to letting their kids watch. Because aside from the obvious danger associated with each stunt, there's also the danger of Goodwin making danger itself look awfully cool.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the heart of the show's message: that scientific experiments can be an exciting source of education and entertainment. What motivates the host and his team to come up with the stunts they present, most of which cause pain and suffering? Are they thinking about science education first -- or about extreme entertainment? What facts can you take away from each experiment? And would you ever want to try these dangerous stunts at home?