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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ultimate Beastmaster is an intense and physical reality series. Contestants race each other and the clock to move through rounds of an obstacle course that tests them both physically and mentally. When they succeed, the victories are sweeter for the struggle it took to get there; when they fail, the disappointment is palpable. Expect to see many painful missteps on the course as well as the resulting bruises and scrapes, and there's some mild language ("ass" and "s--t," for instance) at times.
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What's the story?
ULTIMATE BEASTMASTER is a reality competition series in which contestants attempt to conquer a massive obstacle course called "The Beast." Teams from six countries -- Mexico, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and the United States -- face off in groups of 12 with top-performing players advancing through the rounds to an eventual $10,000 win at the end of each episode and the overall champion taking home $50,000 and the title of Ultimate Beastmaster. This groundbreaking series produced by Sylvester Stallone and hosted in the United States by Terry Crews and Charissa Thompson is released in different versions specific to each participating country and features an announcing team from each as well.
Is it any good?
This test of extreme physical and psychological strength doesn't bring much that's new to the table with regard to the contest itself, but its programming format definitely bends the curve. With competitors hailing from all over the globe, the series' unique layout allows for simultaneous commentary from all the hosts and broadcasts to the participating nations that more heavily feature local athletes. It's an undertaking that promises to influence future reality shows like it.
As for the contest itself, each round of obstacles takes place in a different area of a gigantic 600-foot-long metal beast, which, to be honest, is a little corny. But the tasks are grueling and strategic and require the contestants to push themselves to their limits. When they're victorious, it's rewarding to see their pride. When they fail, the disappointment can be agonizing. On the whole, Ultimate Beastmaster is a family-friendly pick that reminds viewers of the value of perseverance and determination.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the purpose of competition in general and in Ultimate Beastmaster. How does putting our skills against another person's make us better? How does it feel to win? To lose?
What do you think inspires these athletes' sense of perseverance? Put in the same position, could you stick with these kinds of challenges the way they do?
How does this show's multicultural contestant pool promote respect for diversity? What qualities unify these participants? How do you find common ground with people who are very different from you?
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