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 Hunted is a game show that features people volunteering to live like fugitives and attempt to avoid capture in exchange for a major cash prize. There's some occasional tough language ("hell," "damn"), yelling, and fear as people try to avoid capture (but when it happens, it isn't violent). Logos for BMW, Toyota, and local bus lines are visible. Some may find the premise of the show, as well as the messages it sends about our lack of privacy in the digital age, disturbing.
What's the story?
Based on the British game show of the same name, HUNTED is a reality competition featuring people volunteering to live as fugitives in hopes of winning $250,000. Nine teams of two U.S. citizens, ranging from criminal defense attorneys and realtors to parents of young children, must find a way to disappear into the Southeastern United States and keep hidden from law enforcement. Tracking them down are 32 top investigators, including former FBI agent Robert Clark, retired Navy Seal Andy Stumpf, former CIA agent Connie Min, and Lenny DePaul, a former U.S. Marshall. The teams try to evade capture for 28 days to win the cash, but they quickly discover that it's almost impossible to stay hidden in today's highly digital environment.
Is it any good?
This predictable and often contrived series features a modern-day cat-and-mouse game in which people are desperately on the move. While the fugitives try to think strategically and use their street smarts, most of the show is committed to showcasing the techniques used to find them, including collecting CCTV footage, using tracking software, flying drones, and employing old-fashioned sleuthing skills. Throughout it all, they highlight the endless ways that people leave behind their digital footprints, making them easier to find.
The idea that we're being watched and recorded at every turn is disturbing enough, but this is compounded by the fact that the activities featured here are usually associated with criminal behavior. Meanwhile, constant reminders to viewers that the people being "hunted" are U.S. citizens (as opposed to non-citizens or undocumented individuals, perhaps?) are also disconcerting. There may be some key messages here about the lack of privacy in the digital world, but overall, Hunted is more alarming than entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons people agree to be on game shows such as Hunted. Is it just for the money, or is it the fame? Would you be willing to compete on one, even if it required you to do things you're uncomfortable with?
How appropriate do you think the challenge presented on Hunted is for a reality game show? What messages does it send?
For kids who love game shows
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