A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The Iditarod mushers are highly competitive and push themselves and their dogs to win, but there's very little unsportsmanlike behavior or cheating. In fact, there's plenty of camaraderie between the racers, and they often note that in the very harsh climate of Alaska, where even a small mistake can have fatal consequences, there's a strong ethos of looking out for one another. The mushers are also devoted to their dogs and often discuss how much they rely on these very impressive creatures. The majority of the featured mushers are men, but at least one woman participates.
Violence & Scariness
Some dogsleds overturn during the race, but there's not much damage to the sleds, mushers, or dogs.
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Some choice words escape during the heat of competition, including "s--t" and "f--k," though they're few and far between (and bleeped when they do occur).
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Products & Purchases
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has many sponsors whose names and logos are frequently visible, including Wells Fargo and Cabelas.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One musher is a diabetic and discusses his need for insulin.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the title of this reality series is no understatement. The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the sporting world's most challenging adventures, and the men and women who sign on are a fascinating, diverse bunch united by a shared love for their dogs and a willingness to push themselves far beyond the normal limits of human endurance. There's some (generally bleeped) swearing, and the race's corporate sponsors' logos get a good bit of airtime, but in this competition, there's little time for sleep, much less romance or drinking.
Is It Any Good?
Watching this show is simply thrilling. There are few sporting events that show people pitting themselves so completely against each other, against the elements, against just about everything -- just completing this race is an amazing accomplishment. The fastest finish ever was just shy of nine days, and the slowest finisher in history took almost 33 days to cross the line. Plus, the amazing dogs are plenty of fun to watch in action, and the relationship between the mushers and their dogs is touching.
Some of the mushers are clearly in it to win; but many others are just trying to see if they have what it takes to survive the journey. It's rare to see such an unvarnished glimpse of people pushing the limits of human endurance and will power. Some Iditarod detractors might say the show provides a one-sided look at the race and doesn't show some poor treatment of animals, but whether a work of fiction or reality, the show is exhilarating.
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Our Editors Recommend
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