Shaq Vs.

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Shaq Vs. TV Poster Image
Basketball star takes on other athletes in so-so series.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Shaq and his opponents take their competition seriously, but they also show good sportsmanship through the entire process and illustrate that rivals can also be friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Shaq comes across as a good-natured good sport who's fun to hang out with -- though he’s also got an outsize ego that isn’t always matched by his prowess on the field.


Just standard sports impacts/collisions.


Nothing stronger than “butt," though there's plenty of good-natured trash talk between Shaq and his opponents.


The entire series promotes Shaq's personal "brand." Professional sports teams are also frequently mentioned by name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series is a showcase for the athletic talents -- and supersized ego -- of basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. In every episode, Shaq challenges other legendary athletes to compete in their own sports, with mixed results. There’s plenty of good-natured trash talking in the build-up to the main event, but not much swearing. Nor is there any drinking, smoking, or other really iffy behavior. The only thing parents might want to be wary of is that impressionable kids might want to copy Shaq’s appealing -- but very self-centered -- personality. He and his fellow athletes have earned the right to brag about their talents, but few young viewers can make the same claims.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 9 years old August 9, 2010

Neat show!

this show has some language that you would hear in a PG-13 movie. its not used often, but they use it
Teen, 15 years old Written byMratedTeen August 26, 2009

Not... Terrible...

I would suggest just sticking to the final 30 minutes. The challenges themselves are actually pretty interesting to watch. The first 30 minutes? Ehhh, not so... Continue reading

What's the story?

Shaquille O’Neal first made his name on the basketball court -- but in SHAQ VS., he tries to prove that he’s just as talented at other sports by taking on some of the best athletes in the world. He goes into the pool with Michael Phelps, plays baseball against Albert Pujols, steps into the ring with boxer Oscar De La Hoya, and even leads a football team against Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Shaq's goal, of course, is to prove that he's the greatest, most amazing, most incredible athlete -- no matter what. He’s certainly got the ego, but can his body back up his grand claims?

Is it any good?

Let’s face it -- Shaq may be a basketball legend, but at 37, he’s on the downside of his sporting career. Trying to take on other star athletes, some of whom are at the peak of their game, isn’t really a winning proposition. And the competitions aren’t exactly regulation, either: The rules are tweaked to give Shaq an advantage. For example, when he challenges Roethlisberger, it's in touch football with no rushing the quarterback -- giving him tons of time to make the play. And Shaq has to score from just the 20-yard-line, while Roethlisberger has to take it in from the 40. It’s not really that exciting to watch.

Each episode builds to the main event, but the earlier parts are more fun. When Shaq and his competitors hang out together, there’s some good-natured trash-talking and plenty of banter that shows off Shaq’s winning personality. Seeing Shaq and the other athletes acting like regular people -- albeit people with amazing abilities -- is much more interesting than watching them participate in a contrived competition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about attitude. Shaq's outsize personality has become his trademark. Do you think his self-centered attitude is fun or over the top? Could regular people get away with a similar attitude, or would it offend others?

  • Is Shaq a good role model?

  • Shaq seems confident he can hold his own against his rivals, but sometimes he's given an advantage. Are the contests fair? Or do the simplified events lack some of the excitement of the real thing?

TV details

  • Premiere date: August 18, 2009
  • Cast: Shaquille O'Neal
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate