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Ultimate Parkour Challenge
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 reality competition series -- which showcases the underground sport of parkour -- includes some stunts that are potentially very dangerous (like leaping from rooftops). Sometimes they go awry, and the show makes it clear that risk is involved: There are several graphic shots of injuries resulting from stunts gone bad ... which will hopefully help dissuade viewers from imitating these highly trained athletes at home. The tricks may look easy, but they can be perilous for people who don’t know what they’re doing. There's also some bleeped swearing.
What's the story?
Parkour isn't exactly a household name in the United States, but it’s starting to become more well-known, especially now that this combination of gymnastics, sprinting, and jumping off of buildings has been seen in several mainstream movies and TV shows. Parkour practitioners leap from rooftops, hurdle over obstacles, bound up and over fences, and flip, roll, and twist as they fly through the air in an impressive demonstration of what the human body can rdo. In ULTIMATE PARKOUR CHALLENGE, eight experts in this esoteric sport go head-to-head to see who can put together the most impressive routine.
Is it any good?
When it's done right, parkour is tremendously fun to watch. Seeing someone sprint across a rooftop, spring off the edge, fall two or three stories, hit the ground rolling, and then spring up and keep running at full speed is just wild. The stunts these athletes pull off have to be seen to be believed, and even then it’s sometimes tough to believe that the moves are real. It looks extremely dangerous, but these trained experts make it look easy -- again, when it's done right.
But as one participant points out after a nasty fall, “we’re not superhuman.” No, they’re just regular people, prone to slips and accidents like anyone else; sometimes they don’t stick the landing or can’t quite grab onto the handhold they’re trying to reach. That’s when viewers realize how challenging -- and how dangerous -- these stunts can be. In the movies, parkour sequences can be repeated over and over until everything goes perfectly; that perfection belies the difficulty of this sport. On this show, viewers see both the amazing and the botched, and watching people fail only makes it easier to appreciate what they're trying to pull off.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dangerous sports. Do you think parkour looks like fun, or does it seem too risky? Are some sports fun because they're risky? Do you think some activities are so unsafe that they shouldn't be allowed?
Are you familiar with parkour? Have you ever seen some of these stunts in movies or TV shows? Did you know this was an actual sport? Does watching this show make you want to try some of these stunts?