TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Peaking TV Poster Image
Extreme sport profiles highlight perseverance, challenges.

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

Positive Messages

It highlights what drives athletes, and what they think and do when pushing themselves to the top of their game. Themes range from difficult childhoods to challenges throughout their lives. Racist attitudes in some sports are discussed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Athletes aren't perfect but are committed to their sport and competing in it fairly. Good sporting conduct is exhibited. 


Some athletes talk about prior injuries, etc. The death of an athlete is discussed. Races are given titles like "sudden death" and "rampage." Some races/events are more dangerous than others. 


Words like "hell" and "damn" are audible. Curses are bleeped with mouths blurred. The use of a racial slur is discussed. 


Red Bull is a major sponsor of the series, and the brand is prominently featured. Logos for Suzuki, Geico, Honda, and other athlete sponsors are also prominently visible. Other brands, like Vans, are visible in the background. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some athletes have run into trouble for not admitting to taking prescription meds, etc. These moments are briefly referenced. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Peaking is a reality series about action sport athletes preparing to compete in big sporting events that may be key moments in their careers. There's some strong language, like "hell" and "damn," as well some bleeped cursing (mouths are blurred). Accidents, injuries, and dangers associated with some of these sports are discussed, as is the death of a featured athlete months after an event. There are some conversations about controversial issues like prescription drug use, sport suspensions, and racism. Red Bull is a major sponsor of the series; its logo, in addition to many others, is prominently visible. 

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What's the story?

Hosted by Katie Osborne, PEAKING is a reality series that profiles action sports competitors during pinnacle moments in their careers. Each episode features a single athlete, including folks like surfer Marc de Reuver and motocross racer James Stewart, preparing for and competing in a major competition. With cameras following them for 72 hours, athletes discuss how they're feeling about the sport, why the competition is personally and professionally significant, and the challenges they've faced over the years as a competitor. Camera footage of their performance during the actual event, and of self-evaluations about the performance after, is also included. 

Is it any good?

This interesting series gives sports fans a chance to get to learn more about specific athletes from each one's individual point of view. While some are trying to overcome anxieties following major accidents and injuries, others are trying to reclaim their position and reputation after being sanctioned or suspended. Adding to their sports moments are stories about coping with poverty, confronting racism, and other challenges that impact the way they view themselves as competitors. But while each of their stories is different, as are the obstacles they face, they all share the desire to remain at the top of the sport they love. Ultimately, Peaking serves to show the very human side of athletes, and how they negotiate their personal feelings and fears in order to keep competing. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what drives athletes to compete in extreme sports. Why are they willing to take so many risks and put themselves in danger? 

  • What does Peaking teach us about the way athletes handle their anxieties and fears when it comes to taking risks?

  • Why do racist stereotypes exist more in some sports than in others? Who do you think they're perpetuated by? Athletes and sport organizers? Or is it the fans? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 13, 2019
  • Cast: Katie Osborne
  • Network: CW
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • Character strengths: Perseverance
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: October 12, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Character Strengths

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