A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
An adult trainer often mocks teens when their efforts miss the mark, saying things like, "My grandmother can push a wheelchair faster than that!" Some contestants obviously bend the rules to make the tasks easier for themselves, and while the other teens are frustrated by this, the judges usually laugh it off. Some mild trash talking about other contestants comes up in one-on-one confessionals.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the challenges are potentially dangerous, but the contestants always use appropriate safety gear.
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No cursing, but teens do make comments like "that sucks."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows teen contestants as they compete in a series of extreme sports challenges -- doesn't model the most sportsmanlike behavior. Contestants occasionally stretch the rules to rack up points the easy way: For example, in a challenge in which teens are suspended amid a group of mailboxes and told to swing among them, stuffing letters into their slots, one girl disregards the instructions, uprooting one of the boxes and carrying it with her as she swings. The host usually shrugs these transgressions off, saying that they weren't explicitly forbidden. One of the adults also mocks the contestants when he thinks they're not doing well, making frequent comments like "You tried, but not hard enough." Though these comments are meant to be funny, it's clear that some contestants aren't amused.
Is It Any Good?
While the show may inspire your tweens and teens to take an interest in physical activities like the ones it highlights, as a package, The Adrenaline Project is often obnoxious. First there's loud-mouthed Boomer, whose spin on encouragement is frequently riddled with sarcasm ("If you make the wrong decisions, I get to laugh at you!") and insults ("My grandmother can push a wheelchair faster than that!"). Though meant to be funny, his comments could easily be misunderstood by emotional competitors or young viewers. Also annoying are the apparent gray areas in the rules that allow for obvious cheating. For example, in a ropes course -- where the challenge is to grab rings and toss them at targets in the water for extra points -- one teen simply drops them to speed up her time, since none of her peers hit the targets before her. Rather than remind kids to follow the rules, Boomer and Caz seem to admire the contestants' craftiness.
On-camera confessionals (now a standard in reality TV) allow contestants to talk about their competitors out of earshot, and mild trash talk sometimes pops up. Finally, the show is bogged down by the irritating pop-ups that deliver facts ranging from how much mail the postal service delivers to where your adrenal glands are located. Overall, The Adrenaline Project lacks clarity and flow, often falling victim to a herky-jerky style and the antics of the cheesy hosting duo.
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