What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series inspired by Internet video clips opens with a viewer warning because so much of the footage of real people (mostly teen boys) getting injured while skateboarding, wrestling, and doing other physical stunts ends in horrible injury. While all of the participants live to tell their tales, the accidents involve complex fractures, deep wounds, and plenty of blood. While the injured folks often express regret, they also convey a sense of pride in their injuries -- not the best message for other teens who might be watching. Plenty of cursing accompanies the accidents, but the harsher words are bleeped.
What's the story?
Hosted by Jacoby Shaddix (lead singer for the alternative rock band Papa Roach), MTV's SCARRED claims to be inspired by the increasing popularity of viral Internet videos showing amateur skateboarders, wrestlers, and wannabe stuntmen getting horribly injured. Interviews with the injured begin each segment as they retell what led up to the incident, then viewers watch as the players (mostly teen boys) get hurt terribly, complete with pools of blood, ghastly wounds, protruding bones, and screams of agony. Each clip is replayed several times while the "stuntman" narrates the accident, sometimes with pride, sometimes with real regret. Some guys talk about how scared they were during the accident, while others just admit they were stupid for following through with their idea. Each segment ends with the guy showing off the scar produced by the stunt.
Is it any good?
Host Shaddix hypes up the accidents, talking about how awful they were -- but despite his negative words, viewers get the sense that there's something noble about the fearlessness of these kids. This implication, along with some really intense footage, makes Scarred a bad choice for very young viewers and highly questionable even for teens. Parents who do decide to let their older kids watch will want to provide their own warning against attempting any of the stunts seen on the show -- because even though these guys get hurt, they're clearly getting attention from MTV, and some teens would risk their lives for that.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the increasing popularity of viral, user-generated Internet video clips. How do these videos get started? Do you think the participants try stunts like the ones shown here just so they can gain notoriety online? Does it work? Are scars and injuries something to be proud of? Parents may want to remind teens not to try tricks like these at home, no matter what.