The Amazing Race TV Poster Image

The Amazing Race



Stressful global race features tense moments, teamwork.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teamwork is the only way to win this race. Partners who work well together, especially under duress, will succeed, while those that take out their frustrations on each other will quickly fall behind.

Positive role models

Some pairs model excellent partnership, while others are extremely critical of each other, bickering and putting each other down.


Some challenges involve intense mental or physical struggles that may be hard to watch.


Competitors speak about wanting sex.


"Friggin'," "doggone it," "hell," "crap," and other mild profanity.


Some prizes are sponsored by companies like

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fast-paced reality show, in which teams of two race around the world, gives viewers a taste of both the positive and negative consequences of competition. In the heat of the moment, participants can either be supportive or downright callous to their partners. The teams often talk about other racers, sometimes disparagingly. Participants sometimes are given a choice between helping or hindering other teams, and it’s interesting to see the decisions they make. There is some mild swearing and plenty of stressful situations filmed in beautiful, exotic places all over the world.

What's the story?

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the wildly popular THE AMAZING RACE combines the thrill of competition with the excitement of travel. Eleven teams of two dash all over the globe, performing tasks of physical and mental skill, and aiming ultimately for a $1 million prize. Hosted and narrated by Phil Keoghan, each episode takes the participants and the viewers to one far-off destination after another. Typically, the competitors are young, strong, attractive pairs, either romantic couples, siblings, or best friends. A sprinkling of other demographics is also represented: older couples, men and women of color, gay couples, mother/daughter teams, and pairs who, on the surface, seem less athletic.

Is it any good?


In short, yes. It’s armchair adventure travel for viewers, flinging contestants from one corner of the world to the next under unusual circumstances. It’s also an interesting peek at different types of relationships placed under duress. For some, it’s a breaking point where the harsh dialogue and lack of support can be difficult to watch. (Clearly, some folks tolerate stress better than others.) For others, it’s an experience that glues them together. And how couldn’t it? While the situations are often contrived, the racers’ reactions are not. There is real stress as people try to be the first to check in at the rest stops at the end of each episode.

The show also deserves credit for showcasing unique cultural elements in the countries it visits. Racers, and viewers, always get a taste of the local flavor, often in places that are not well-known vacation destinations. (They change the itinerary every season, too.) Some participants seem more open to learning about the places they visit, while others make fun of the language, customs and food. The race may be amazing, but its contestants? Not always.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the participants' behavior. Does a competitor have a moral obligation to help another struggling team, or is it okay to leave them floundering?

  • Who in this competition seems to be balancing a healthy competitive spirit with good, sportsmanlike behavior?

  • Would you like to join The Amazing Race? Do you think you would do well in these stressful situations? Where would you like to go?

TV details

Cast:Phil Keoghan
Networks:CBS, Travel Channel
Genre:Reality TV
Character strengths:Courage, Teamwork
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Amazing Race was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bymmazog April 9, 2008

Great Show - but tricky for child appropriateness

For a reality show, probably one of the least objectionable for child content. Some usually minor language, minimal physical violence, and minimal sexual content. The worst part is the verbal abuse between members of the teams or between the actual teams. Some contestents are very verbally abusive. Also of note, with each season, the verbal abuse / language / sexual content / product placement seems to get a little worse or more graphic due to casting or editing. For kid appropriateness, this is hit and miss .... some episodes are very clean, while others are a little more concerning.
Teen, 13 years old Written bymngirl June 29, 2011

Amazing Race is Awesome!

Awesome TV show! I love it! Some language but I say its for anyone from mature 6-year-olds-100-year-olds. It's really good and fun to watch! I'm going on it with my friend when we turn 21 and we are going to WIN!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byqtnn April 3, 2011

Interesting competition with appropriate lessons

Best reality series aimed at adults. Competition is challenging, interesting, with good locations. Very little soap opera and personal drama/tantrums *usually* have appropriate consequences.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages


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