Total Blackout TV Poster Image

Total Blackout



Fear Factor in the dark, with rats, roaches, bleeped curses.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series shows how being unable to see can make people feel vulnerable, and how fear can become their worst enemies. It also shows what people will do for money.

Positive role models

Contestants are from all walks of life and represent a variety of personality types.


Screaming (out of fear) is a common reaction among contestants during challenges.


Objects sometimes include bras. Men posing in the dark are sometimes shirtless. Players are sometimes forced to taste things from people's bellies, but the act is more gross than sexual.


Frequent curses like "s--t" and "f--k" (uttered out of fear) are bleeped.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:April 25, 2012
Cast:Jaleel White
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bydavidrox February 19, 2013


This is good, intense, but fine for kids. Common sense has got it competley wrong with the age of fourteen, not bad language, but it has some sexual refrences. I say eleven and up for the occasional innuendo and references.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old July 12, 2012

Awesome Show

It is so fun to watch.It's fun to see them react!You might be grossed out because they are sniffing peoples armpits, mouths, and butts. If your kids can't watch shows with curse words it might be iffy for them. Those are the only things that I think is bad.I don't understand why men with no shirts on and women with bikini tops on bad at all. If you go to the beach thats what you see all the time.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bymrbookworm01 May 5, 2012

OK show for preteens

I saw an episode of this show last night and I thought it was really good. I think some of the contestants act a bit too easily-scared, but it is pretty funny seeing them freak out. Other than some swearing (nostly bleeped out), some censored nudity (one challenge is which the contestant must identify an object by smelling it has them smelling someone's butt), and some creepy things, like rats and snakes, there's not much inappropriate for preteens. Plus, it does teach a message about bravery. OK for kids 10+. Violence: Some creepy things are used in challenges, like rats and snakes, but nobody gets seriously hurt. Sex: Some challenges involve some nudity (one episode's challenge has the contestants smell someone's butt) but it's blurred out. Language: Some swearing like "hell" and "a**", but anything stronger is bleeped out.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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