A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this imported reality show is a non-stop succession of extremely violent acts performed as entertainment. Imitating them could potentially lead to serious injury and/or death. As a result, this series is not recommended for tweens or young teens, and parents should exercise caution when allowing older teens to watch, too. Parents should also know that the show includes moments of brief nudity and sexualizes women. The only up side is the series' positive representation of close (albeit rather destructive) friendship.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The inspiration for MTV's Jackass and a close cousin to Viva La Bam, THE DUDESONS is a Finnish reality show that follows four high-spirited guys who find both humor and satisfaction in being able to survive death-defying stunts and wild pranks. Friends since childhood, Jarppi, Jukka, Jarno, and HP have achieved international stardom by performing and documenting their elaborate exploits -- such as jumping cars blindfolded, rolling down cliffs in metal trash dumpsters, and lighting indoor bonfires (in that case, they ended up burning down their own home). Their motivation seems to be the humor they find in their stunts, as well as a sense of satisfaction from being able to stay alive until the next act of destruction.
Is it any good?
The Dudesons is an odd combination of truly violent acts and examples of close friendship. Yes, the men spend a lot of time playing pranks on each other, ranging from the silly to the outright brutal (in one scene, the group laughingly wakes up Jukka up by slamming his genitalia with a baseball bat). But in spite of the guys' apparent hostility, their pranks aren't mean-spirited; their stupidity is their unique way of bonding.
Unfortunately, the genuine affection the men have for each other and their pet pig, Britney, makes it frighteningly possible to overlook the socially irresponsible nature of what they do. Watching The Dudesons could have dire consequences for those who see the show before they're mature enough to understand that they shouldn't imitate it. As a result, even though the Finnish quartet is lovable and comical, it's impossible to consider their show appropriate for family viewing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what kinds of behavior should never be imitated and why. What are the consequences of participating in dangerous stunts and cruel practical jokes? What boundaries should you establish when playing pranks on others? What's the difference between playing a funny practical joke and being cruel?