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 WWE Saturday Morning Slam is a wrestling show aimed at young kids that features interviews, Q-and-A sessions, and video montages of some of the WWE's most recognizable stars. While it's less violent than other WWE shows (certain moves, such as headlocks, aren't allowed), clips of matches are included in each episode, so you can expect to see basic wrestling maneuvers. A disclaimer reminds viewers not to replicate the wrestlers' moves, but it's always a good idea to reiterate that message to your kids yourself. While the show does devote time to showcasing the WWE's positive community projects, ultimately, it misses the mark for its young target audience, since kids will get the wrong messages from the (fake) fighting they see.
What's the story?
WWE SATURDAY MORNING SLAM gives kids backstage access to WWE stars like Kofi Kingston, Heath Slater, and Brodus Clay. The show compiles video clips and brief interviews with the wrestling stars and showcases a match between two of the wrestlers each week. It also spotlights some of the WWE's involvement in community service programs geared toward kids.
Is it any good?
This no-frills, what-you-see-is-what-you-get show is geared toward a much younger set than the target audience of the WWE's more over-the-top offering, Friday Night Smackdown! The actors -- er, wrestlers -- aren't quite as outlandish, costumes are minimal, trash talk is virtually nonexistent, and the violence is more kid-friendly (if there is such a thing), thanks to specific contact rules (no headlocks, for instance) and the abbreviated format for the exclusive face-offs. The behind-the-scenes format will entertain kids who are already familiar with at least some of the participants, since it allows them to see the wrestlers in an informal, unscripted atmosphere. And the show also makes a half-hearted attempt to win some brownie points from parents with reminders of the WWE's positive initiatives that reach out to kids.
The trouble with WWE Saturday Morning Slam is that it takes a fairly young kid to blindly accept this hokey "Smackdown Light" style, both in the ring and out of it, and you're probably not looking for a show that glorifies fighting for your first- or second-grader. Any older than that, and your kids will see right through the "reality" of the partial-contact fighting. What's more, if they're not already familiar with the wrestlers themselves, then there's little value to the rest of the show's content, which presumes the stars' status as celebrities in your kids' eyes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "reality" of what kids see on TV. Does this wrestling look real to you? Why would WWE Saturday Morning Slam's creators present choreographed exchanges as real wrestling?
Kids: What role does violence play in the shows you find entertaining? Do you enjoy them because of the violence, or is that something you don't really notice?
Who are some of your role models? What is it about them that you admire? How would your opinion of them be different if they didn't always act admirably?
How does this show differ from WWE shows aimed at adults? Which audience do you think is more likely to appreciate it?
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