World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji TV Poster Image
Epic reality competition is grueling, highlights teamwork.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It's about people finishing the world's toughest race, but also reveals different reasons people want to participate in it. Teams work together in order to succeed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Teams are from different countries, and each must include men and women. Series also features the first all-Black team in the competition. All teams are determined to finish for different reasons. 

Violence

The race is grueling and dangerous, and people get hurt and risk death. Images of bloody cuts and wounds, injections being given, other efforts to help people in trouble. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Sports gear logos like The North Face, XCE, Ultimate Direction, Kailash, and others are prominently visible on people's clothing, packs, other equipment.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is a reality competition featuring teams from all over the world as they participate in a grueling, 11-day eco-challenge race. People fall and sustain bloody wounds, collapse from dehydration and fatigue, and yelp in pain. On occasion a rescue team needs to be called. Some outdoor gear logos are visible, including The North Face, Ultimate Direction, and others. Winners are recognized, but the series also highlights the strength and spirit of everyone who participates. 

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What's the story?

WORLD'S TOUGHEST RACE: ECO-CHALLENGE FIJI is an unscripted reality competition following the participants of the iconic Eco-Challenge Race hosted on and around the island of Fiji. Adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls follows 66 teams from 30 different countries attempting to complete the 11-day, nearly 417-mile expedition. Teams must navigate dense tropical jungle, climb steep mountains, scale down dangerous cliffs, and cross dangerous bodies of water using only a map, a compass, and their smarts in order to hit each of the 31 checkpoints within the assigned time period. They must also locate five hidden medallions during the journey. The first team to cross the finish line wins $100,000. As each group pushes through the course, they must work together and support one another, because if one team member is unable to continue, the whole team is disqualified. Some are racing to reach the winners' podium, but others simply want to finish it in order to prove something to themselves and to the people back home. Regardless of why they're competing, all contestants must have the physical and mental fortitude to make it through. 

Is it any good?

This intense series is a revival of the original World's Toughest Race Eco-Challenge that was created by Mike Burnett in 1995 and wrapped up in Fiji in 2002. While highlighting the leaders of the race throughout the event, the show celebrates the spirit and strength of everyone who attempts to make it through the rugged course, which is open to all experience levels. It also features some of Fiji's local communities, who share in the experience in different ways. 

There are some intense situations as people inevitably experience mishaps, are injured, or are forced to overcome unexpected hurdles. It also offers a fair share of overdramatized moments designed to to keep people interested in what is otherwise an endless trail of people walking, biking, swimming, rappelling, and rowing their way across the island. And Bear Grylls can't help but show off some of his own skills as well. But if you like outdoor adventure series, World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji does a good job of fitting the bill.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what motivates people to participate in extreme sports and other grueling events. Teams give different reasons for participating in World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji.  Does the series do a good job of highlighting how meaningful these reasons are to them?

  • If given the opportunity, would you compete in this eco-challenge? What are the biggest obstacles you would have to overcome in order to push through it?

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