The Challenge

Common Sense Media says

Reality show cast members face off in physical challenges.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Yelling, cat fights, ganging up on each other, gossip, drunken hook-ups, arguments.

Violence

Brutal physical challenges; pushing; fights often break out between contestants.

Sex

Housemates hook up; indications of sex; heavy kissing; most challenges require players to be in bathing suits.

Language

Heavy bleeping of four-letter workds; "bitch" is commonplace in each epsiode; contestants talk down to one another.

Consumerism

Each challenge is sponsored by a commerical product (TVs, cell phones, travel companies).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lot of alcohol usage. Viewers don't always see the contestants drinking, but they're often intoxicated in front of the camera.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that fighting, sex, screaming matches, physically brutal challenges, drinking, smoking, and trash-talking are all standard practice during the challenges. Contestants involved in this reality/game show are from past seasons of MTV's Real World and Road Rules. Issues that cast members had on either of those series often carry over into this one.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

THE CHALLENGE is made up of former MTV Real World and Road Rules cast members. The contestants are divided into two teams that face off in physical competitions ranging from painting a blank canvas with their bodies to racing head to head in a rickshaw relay. At least one contestant is eliminated at the end of each episode. The last three players from each team compete in a final mission at the end of the season to win $300,000 in cash and prizes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Teens will be interested to see once-famed Real World and Road Rules cast members come back in a more-competitive setting, but parents need to know that the series, like its predecessors, emphasizes sex, partying, and conflict. Past rivalries, new loves, and old flames add to the drama, and there's no shortage of love and hate among teammates and competitors. All parties involved come across in a negative light as they struggle with teamwork, creating alliances, and backstabbing one another. Disrespect and fighting is not only expected, but tolerated by the producers of the series.

For all the effort these reality TV alums put themselves through, the prize seems small. But many of the stand-out members have been invited back for other challenges or to participate in other off-shoots of MTV programming -- keeping them afloat on the celebrity D-list.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why there's so much tension among the contestants. Do they handle their differences appropriately? Has life in front of the camera affected their behavior? Is there pressure to act a certain way? Why do some reality TV "stars" keep going back for more punishment on other shows? Is fame really that addictive?

TV details

Network:MTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of The Challenge was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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, okay 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byanimalloverclm April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written bykarissa1214 November 2, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

GOOD FOR 13+

IT IS A GOOD REALITY SHOW FOR KIDS OVER 13 YEARS OLD. IT IS ALMOST LIKE SURVIVOR.
Adult Written bySamanthamaster1 November 20, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

25+. Horrible show just like The Real World.

I hate this show just as much as I hate The Real World. I don't recommend this show for children under 25. This show is just a spin off to The Real World.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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