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Trick My Truck
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 car rehab show often highlights truck drivers' emotional life stories -- from personal health problems to having children with cancer to coping with being a war veteran. Stories don't get too detailed, but younger children may be disturbed by some of the accounts. Part of the show's conceit is that the group supposedly steals the trucks that they rehab, though the stealing is handled very lightheartedly. Patriotism and faith play a strong role in some episodes.
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What's the story?
In TRICK MY TRUCK, a group of guys dubbed the Chrome Shop Mafia find big-rig drivers with compelling stories and overhaul their trucks. Sort of an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for the trucking set, the show focuses on helping drivers who are down on their luck or have a noble cause, customizing their rigs to fit their situation. In one episode, for example, a senior couple who drives across the country towing a replica of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial gets a complete rehab, from custom paint job to deluxe interior.
Is it any good?
Though Trick My Truck's crew has the familiar tattooed look of many car-rehab show "characters," this group has a decidedly different perspective than those on the other series (which are mostly based in Los Angeles). The Chrome Shop Mafia folks are patriotic, blue collar, and down to earth.
Unfortunately, their dialogue feels scripted and their delivery is lifeless, making for less-appealing characters than some of the other, more personality-driven shows. Some of the jokes included to lighten things up fall flat or just seem corny. But on the plus side, the show is only 30 minutes, which means the work goes fast and viewers get to see big changes without getting weighed down in the details.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of cars and trucks -- and shows that revolve around them. Why are some people so fascinated by trucks? How much money do you think it takes to fix up these trucks? Why do you think the crew pretends to steal the truck, rather than just announce to the owners what they're planning to do? Families can also discuss what it would be like to be a truck driver. What do you think would be fun -- or not so fun -- about it? What stereotypes are associated with truck drivers? Who's responsible for creating those associations? Does this show reinforce or undermine them?