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 Total Blackout features people in pitch black rooms using their sense of taste, smell, hearing, and touch, to identify things that are sometimes creepy -- like rats or cockroaches. It isn't violent, but contestants often scream and curse (the worst is bleeped) out of fear. Some of the challenges require contestants to feel people's bodies, etc. Women in bikini tops and men without shirts are sometimes visible. One episode features players tasting things located on people' bellies.
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What's the story?
TOTAL BLACKOUT is an extreme game show that features contestants competing in a series of challenges that forces them to confront their worst fears in total darkness. Hosted by Jaleel White, contestants must rely on their sense of touch, smell, hearing, and taste to identify objects like live cockroaches, rats, and even human beings, that are placed in a pitch black room with them. After each nerve-wracking round, the person unable to identify a majority of the items they are exposed to is eliminated. The contestant remaining at the end wins five thousand dollars.
Is it any good?
The series, which has been adapted from highly successful international versions of the show, demonstrates how easily people's imaginations can run wild when they are unable to rely on their sense of sight. But what really makes the show entertaining is being able to watch how tough-talking contestants are overtaken by fear and squeamishness once they find themselves in the dark.
Watching these folks trying to pull themselves together in order to play the game makes for some very funny moments. Some of the challenges, like licking unknown substances out of people's belly buttons and fondling an octopus, might make you a little squeamish, too. But if you can handle it, you will probably find yourself chuckling at some of what you see here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about game shows. What makes a game show extreme? Is it the danger the challenges pose to contestants? The environment in which they have to compete? The prizes they can win? Do you think the reactions of contestants are always real?
Why would people want to appear on this show? Is it just for the money? What's the strangest thing you would do for big bucks?
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