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 this reality series, which features independent shippers competing for bids and transporting items across the country by themselves, features lots of salty language, cigarette smoking, and greedy behavior. Shippers often take risks, and sometimes break the law, in order to maximize profits. Each shipper's service logo, as well as the uShip online auction logo, is prominently featured.
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What's the story?
SHIPPING WARS is a reality series about the competitive world of the independent shipping business. Each episode features self-employed shippers from all over the country, including Roy Garber, Marc Springer, Jennifer Brennan, Scott and Suzanne Bawcom, and rookie Jarrett Joyce, placing online bids for transport jobs on uShip, the world's online auction house for independent truckers. Each job they win gives them a specific delivery deadline, as well as the fine amount they must pay if they miss it. To maximize their profits, truckers try build shipping trips that allow them to transport multiple items, like oversized one-of-a-kind collectibles and live animals, across the country while taking into account the cost of fuel, lodging, and wear and tear on their trucks. If everything goes well, the payout can be big. But a failure to deliver a single item can result in major financial losses, as well as bad online user ratings, which can potentially lead to a shipper getting pulled from uShip's bidding services.
Is it any good?
The series shows how people build a career out of picking up and delivering items that traditional shipping companies usually refuse to handle. It also showcases some of the bidding strategies and shipping tactics (which range from clever to illegal) they will use in order to get a job and make a successful and profitable delivery within the timeframe allotted.
The competitiveness between the truckers makes the show a little edgy, but the real drama comes from the unexpected breakdowns, lack of trailer space, and other mishaps that each trucker faces as they attempt to meet their delivery deadlines. Some of the items they ship can be interesting, too. It isn't the best choice for younger viewers, but for older reality show fans, it's fairly entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reality shows. How real do you think shows like this are? What gets edited out? Why would these truckers agree to be on a show like this? What's the appeal of the workplace reality show?
Talk about independent truckers. Why do people get into this business? What are some of the benefits to this line of work? Risks? How does media technology like the Internet and GPS help this business grow? What are some of the drawbacks to using this technology?
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