Pros vs. Joes

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Pros vs. Joes TV Poster Image
Sexism, bad sportsmanship tinge tense showdowns.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Promotes physical competition. The Joes' attempts to best the pro athletes show what immense skill it takes to become a pro in the first place. The show definitely rewards strength, determination, agility, and ability to keep your fears in check. But insults fly constantly, and men frequently refer to their opponents as weak or feminine.


Some of the featured sports are more violent than others, like professional fighting, which shows amateurs getting truly injured by the pro.


Women in bikinis occasionally appear in peripheral roles, and the camera zooms in on choice body parts.


Frequent foul language like "ass," "bitch," "suck," and "pissed." Stronger language is occasional and bleeped.


Tons of branding: The competition takes place in the "Home Depot Center," and winners get a Toyota Tundra. Plus there's the "Dr. Pepper play of the day" and the "Subway overtime clock."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Commercials between show segments feature beer and hard liquor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sports competition series pits professional athletes against amateurs. It includes a lot of back-and-forth insults and stereotypically macho behavior, such as crotch-grabbing and aggressive butt slapping. Jokes and insults often employ "sissy"-oriented language (like calling a man a "she" or joking that a pro football athlete played for the Cowgirls instead of the Cowboys). Women in bikinis occasionally appear as window dressing, and the camera sometimes zooms in on one of their body parts for emphasis. Athletes exhibit some poor sportsmanship, though teasing is generally lighthearted in tone.

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Adult Written bybuzzinhornet April 9, 2008

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What's the story?

In PROS VS. JOES, amateur athletes get a chance to compete against their sports idols. In each episode, three male \"Joes\" take on retired or aging professionals like baseball star Jose Canseco and football master Michael Irvin in their own areas of expertise, competing for bragging rights and a place in the show's championship match. The competition is full of nail-biting tension and impressive athletic performances. In one episode, for example, the Joes take on professional fighter Randy Couture, who subjects his opponents to relentless physical punishment, yanking one's shoulder out of its socket twice. One of the players, who's a hand-to-hand combat instructor in the military, holds his own quite well against his powerful match, but he still goes down without making a dent in the pro.

Is it any good?

Full of stereotypically macho showboating and sissy jokes, Pros vs. Joes is definitely targeting male viewers. Though female pros occasionally appear, the roster is almost exclusively male. Players casually grab their crotches and, in at least one episode, a pro football player teases his amateur opponent by aggressively grabbing his butt.

Watching the amateurs take on their idols makes for good entertainment, especially when a contestant displays a level of skill that comes anywhere close to the professionals'. But with all the trash-talking (which includes plenty of foul language), parents will want younger viewers to stay away and may want to check in with teens about the athletes' all-too-frequent unsportsmanlike behavior.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about athletes' behavior. Have you seen or experienced the kind of trash-talking seen on the show in your own life? What motivates it? How much of this type of behavior is just harmless fun, and what's completely uncool? Are certain sports more competitive than others? Do some come with a harsher attitude than others? Why?

TV details

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