What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality show isn't for the squeamish. People get seriously injured, and while the images aren't overly bloody, viewers do see things like blood traced in the snow and misshapen ankles and wrists. In other segments, people describe very intense experiences like being caught in an avalanche. Attitudes on the slopes aren't always the best: Boyfriends ditch injured girlfriends, kids challenge the authority of a ski patroller (in one case, when the patroller points out that what they're doing could hurt others, the kid replies, "That's their problem"), and so on. But the show also makes the patrollers' good intentions and duty to others very clear.
What's the story?
For anyone who thinks of skiing as an expensive way to hurt yourself, SKI PATROL won't provide much in the way of reassurance. Shot at two different resorts (Pennsylvania's Blue Mountain and Washington's Crystal Mountain) the series follows the rescues and jobs of modern ski patrollers -- the folks who take care of getting injured folks off the runs, do what they can to prevent avalanches, and make sure that the skiers and snowboarders behave.
Is it any good?
Even when you're hiding your eyes to avoid seeing the latest broken limb, the show is riveting. Your head will tell you that the action is ramped up for TV, but it's still breathtaking and beautifully shot. And it's ultimately good human drama, even if it's not for the squeamish.
At best, Ski Patrol could inspire some young skiers to become patrollers ... or maybe just dissuade them from trying some of the stupider things that kids do (one of the worst injuries included in the show happened because the young victim had built an illegal jump). The rest of us can stick to the bunny slopes.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how producers edit shows like this to make them seem more dramatic. Can you tell whether two adjoining sequences really occurred right in a row? How is it that camera crews were able to catch a single avalanche from three different angles? What else might be exaggerated for effect? Do you think there are really that many life-threatening injuries on the ski slopes in one day?