Owner's Manual

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Owner's Manual TV Poster Image
Some dangerous stunts, collaboration in unique reality.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Shows how various problem solving approaches can be combined to make things work. Good communication and the importance of collaboration are also highlighted here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ed Sanders likes to figure things out as he does things, while Marcus Hunt does his homework before attempting anything.


The duo playfully engages in some insulting and competitive banter, but nothing serious. Some of the challenges are potentially dangerous and/or can lead to blackouts and other side effects, but they are always supervised by experts.


Contains a few crude references, like "balls."


Rude gestures are sometimes visible, and curses like "s--t" are occasionally audible.


Local adventure companies, like SkyThrills, are featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Owner's Manual is a lighthearted show that includes positive messages about collaboration, good communication, and finding different ways to solve problems and/or overcome challenges. However, there's also some occasional salty vocab ("s--t") and the occasional crude reference and/or gesture that makes it a little iffy for younger folks.

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What's the story?

OWNER'S MANUAL is a reality series starring HGTV's Hammerhead star Marcus Hunt and National Bingo Night host Ed Sanders as they combine their different approaches to life in order to accomplish advanced and potentially dangerous challenges. They're average guys who must quickly figure how to do above-average things, like fly stunt planes, drive off-road racing cars, and operate locomotives. But while Hunt studies rule books and owner's manuals to learn what to do, Sanders uses his instincts and street smarts to make it happen. They don't always agree on each other's strategies, but they have to find ways to collaborate if they have any hope of succeeding.

Is it any good?

From understanding how to keep from blacking out during G-force tests to flying stunt planes, the duo shows how their different ways of learning and solving problems can be used together to accomplish their goals. It also highlights how important it is for them to be able to communicate with one another, despite their different approaches.

Owner's Manual is not the most sophisticated of shows, but watching how the two handle various challenges -- most of which involve sophisticated and/or powerful machinery and technology -- is interesting. The competitive banter between the two might also elicit the occasional chuckle. But the messages it sends about working together are definitely positive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different ways people learn. Why do some people need to closely follow instructions when learning how to do something, while others seem to be able to figure it out on their own? Is one method better than the other?

  • What are some of the stereotypes about people who study or follow the rules all the time? Do shows like this one contribute to these generalizations? How folks who learn on the fly portrayed?

TV details

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