The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30 TV Poster Image
Return of reality competition more manipulative than ever.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Playing dirty is fun, entertaining, and leads to victory.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everyone is sneaky, manipulative, and self-absorbed. 

Violence

Lots of arguing and screaming. Contestants who physically fight each other are sent home. Challenges are very physical, cast gets hit, pushed, etc.

Sex

Lots of strong innuendo; endless conversations about sexual encounters, video clips of hookups.  

Language

"Bitch," "pissed"; bleeped cursing. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of beer, wine consumed over meals, after challenges. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Challenge XXX: Dirty 30, a key installment of MTV's The Challenge franchise, celebrates the series' 30th season by pushing the cast to be as manipulative and conniving as possible to win the game. It also has all the strong language, sexual innuendo, and drinking the show is known for. The challenges are very physical (people get hit hard), but actual fights between cast members aren't tolerated (violators are sent home). Teen fans of the show will enjoy it, but the content isn't intended for younger viewers. 

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What's the story?

THE CHALLENGE XXX: DIRTY 30 is the epic 30th installment of MTV's popular reality series The Challenge. Hosted by BMX rider T.J. Lavin, the series stars 30 of the most competitive and devious players in the show's history competing for cash. The cast, divided equally by gender, share a beautiful house in Cartagena, Colombia, and are summoned to compete in a series of difficult challenges that require physical and mental toughness. The twist? They think they're playing for a mere $350K, but Lavin knows that they are really playing for a piece of a $1 million prize. As the "dirty 30" compete, vote people into elimination rounds, build alliances, and try to narrow down the contestants any way they can, they also find time to argue, hook up, and get into all sorts of trouble. Meanwhile, the show's producers create a chain of events that take everyone by surprise. 

Is it any good?

This predictable series features all the drama historically dispensed by this over-the-top reality show. There's lots of tough, physical challenges, arguing, cursing, and sexual encounters. However, this cycle distinguishes itself by forcing cast members into situations where they must unexpectedly double-cross as many of their fellow competitors as possible, and celebrates how manipulative everyone must be to stay in the game. 

Challenge XXX  isn't mean to be taken too seriously, but it's full of negative messages about sportsmanship and respecting one another. Folks who are already fans of the series won't be surprised by much of what they see here, and may be further drawn to it thanks to reappearance of some of the show's most notorious cast members. But it's hard to ignore the show's overall message, which is that playing dirty will result in positive results. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons people compete in reality game shows like The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30. Is it for the money? For attention? For the notoriety? Do you think they behave the same way in their real lives?

  • Do you think The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30 emphasizes being sneaky and manipulative? Is this kind of behavior what makes the series so popular? What about showing other risky activities?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 18, 2017
  • Cast: T.J. Lavin
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love game shows

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