The Bridge

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Bridge TV Poster Image
British DIY reality challenge has cursing, scheming.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Competition and teamwork are key themes. Some ethical issues are raised about some of the players’ decisions throughout the competition. 

Positive Role Models

The cast consists of men and women from the United Kingdom and North America. They are of diverse ages, careers, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. Some are more ethically-minded than others. 

Violence

There is some catty arguing, but yelling is limited. People trip and fall. There are discussions about near-death experiences and the death of a child. 

Sex

There’s some mild innuendo, but nothing sexual is visible. Jokes are made about one contestant being a stripper. Women are sometimes shown in bikinis.  

Language

"Bitch," "d--k," and "s--t" are audible, and stronger words are bleeped. 

Consumerism

There's a large cash prize at stake.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer drinking is visible, but they have to brew it themselves. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bridge is a British reality competition series set in the wilderness of Northern Wales. Compared to similar stateside produced shows, it’s pretty tame. But there is some mild, catty arguing, some sneaky behavior, and cursing ("bitch," "d--k," and "s--t"). There’s some mild innuendo, but nothing sexual. Jokes are made about one contestant being a stripper. Women are sometimes shown in bikinis. People sometimes trip or fall, but no injuries are shown. Cast members drink homemade beer. 

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What's the story?

THE BRIDGE is a British reality series about a group of people trying to build a large bridge in order to win a major cash prize. Twelve contestants from across England meet up in the wilderness of Northern Wales hoping to play a game and win some money. Upon arrival, they learn that they must build a 850-foot bridge in 20 days to cross part of Lyn Brenig Lake and reach the 100,000£ (roughly $140,000) prize that awaits them in a trunk on the island. With only manual tools and a limited amount of basic food pantry supplies, they must figure out how to do everything by hand. But there are some surprises in store for them, which requires them to eliminate fellow contestants and make some potentially unethical decisions. The group must work as a team, and they all hope to reach the money on time. But what they don’t realize is that if they make it, they’ll have to choose only one person among them to get the cash. 

Is it any good?

This voyeuristic reality competition, which is narrated by James McAvoy, is a mild reality competition with Survivor-like elements. There are some catty exchanges, usually due to food scarcity, exhaustion, or frustrations about the lack of leadership. There’s also some scheming during the process. The fear of sudden eliminations also adds to the drama.

The overall series feels more subdued than many U.S.-produced realty shows. Disagreements are respectful, and despite the fact that contestants are competing for money, many seem to put more value on the friendships they’ve made. As long as you’re not looking for some over-the-top unscripted entertainment, The Bridge is fun to watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to to live each day doing everything by hand. What are the most challenging tasks? Why? Is there anything that can’t be done by hand?

  • In The Bridge, a few contestants get chances to keep some money, but must do something that negatively impacts the team in return. Is this a good way to play the game? If you were put in in the same position, what would you do? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: February 19, 2021
  • Cast: James McAvoy
  • Network: HBO Max
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: August 18, 2021

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