What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bloopers! is a collection of user-generated video clips of funny moments, mishaps, and pranks. Although it's billed as a revamped TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes and is produced by Dick Clark Productions, this modern version bears little resemblance to the original and is more in the vein of America's Funniest Home Videos. Many of the clips show people getting hurt, tempting animals into biting or fighting, and instigators intentionally scaring or otherwise tormenting victims (a girl farts in another's face, for instance). While there is a comic element to what you see on the show, it sends the message that it's OK to laugh at others' misfortune and to make people the brunt of a joke. There's also some language ("bitchin'," "hell") at times and the assumption, if not the visual confirmation, that many of these mishaps end in injury for the victims.
What's the story?
BLOOPERS! is a modern reincarnation of Dick Clark's classic outtakes reel, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Hosted by Dean Cain, the show shelves the original's format that compiled TV mishaps and actor-inspired pranks, and instead collects video clips from viewers of comical accidents, pet tricks, and jokes they play on other people. Cain provides comical voice-over narration to emphasize the clips' effect.
Is it any good?
It's ironic that in a hypersensitive society such as ours, where anti-bullying messages are omnipresent in kids' home and school environments, we consider it high entertainment to point and laugh at embarrassing and painful moments of strangers' lives. You might argue that someone in each of these videos willingly submitted it knowing what people's reactions would be, and that is true. Unfortunately, though, kids might not get that, and it's the nature of our connected culture that video clips, pictures, sound bytes, texts, and emails can be posted to the world with a single key strike and without the knowledge of everyone involved, and so doing can cause real emotional harm to an unwilling subject.
Here's what it boils down to: Of course these video clips are funny. Two guys sitting on a roof causing a cave-in? A man misjudging the jumping distance to a pool? It's hard not to laugh in the moment, and for families searching for something to watch that's not sexed up or overly violent, this is a tempting choice. But the messages your kids get from this type of show might not be short-lived, and with their access to media through cell phones, iPod Touches, and even gaming systems, it could have unexpected detrimental results.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about bullying. How does the issue of bullying relate to this show? Do you see any instances of people being subjected to embarrassing situations? How does it feel to be the brunt of a joke?
Tweens: Why do you think people submit video clips to shows like this one? Is this any better or worse than sharing them on social media websites? What do people gain by putting this information out there?
Families can use this opportunity to talk about internet safety. What are your family's rules about using the internet? What information are you allowed to share and with whom? What dangers exist in oversharing online?