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How Jackass changed television and no one noticed



Regardless of whatever sociological observations or cultural impact the show brought about, the general vibe of Jackass is one of mindless entertainment. It is art is in its fundamental fearlessness, and it allows us to unplug from the real world, however briefly, a as we watch a bunch of stunt people make terrible decisions for laughs. While they were making those three iconic seasons it really was all fun and games. And it shows. They remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, and to always be willing to laugh at ourselves, even when fame and fortune become part of the bigger picture.  

Writer Jason Concepcion hailed Jackass as a portrait of the human condition. “This is profoundly sophomoric material. But it’s also uniquely life-affirming,” Concepcion wrote at The Ringer. “An effective Jackass stunt reminded us that — beneath the glossy personas people present to the world, these beautifully filtered images of meals and vacations and perfect friends — we bleed, we s**t, and we die. And though we struggle mightily, every day, to distract ourselves from these truths, we shouldn’t. Indeed, we can engage with those realities in ways that are hilarious.” 

In short, the Jackass boys taught us how to present our authentic selves long before social media influencers became celebrities and YouTubers began taking the place of TV stars. That sort of unfiltered humanity is all around us in the media now, but Jackass was where we first learned that it’s okay to be outrageously silly in public and film it, so long as you’re careful… and a trained professional.



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