What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this newsmagazine series is based on user-generated Web content, in all its wide-ranging glory. Segments can include everything from footage of real robberies, drug use, and car crashes (presumably dead victim and all) to lighter, celebrity-based stories and silly dance videos. Expect some bleeped profanity and occasional images of revealingly dressed women.
What's the story?
Networks have yet to find the perfect bridge between television and the Internet. I-CAUGHT is the most recent attempt to bring the Internet's viewership back to the slightly less-small screen. Using user-generated Web videos on a wide range of topics as a jumping-off point, the newsmagazine series investigates the stories behind the videos. Hosted by Bob Weir, each segment of the show begins with a user-generated video -- some well known and some obscure.
Is it any good?
For example, footage of inmates in a Philippines prison performing the choreographed dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video has received millions of views on YouTube. In the segment about the clip, correspondents interview prisoners, the warden, and the mayor of the town where the prison is located. They also talk to a journalist who's investigated the prison and claims the prisoners are made to dance against their will and despite injuries.
Viewers can expect segments to cover both the silly and the serious. Some focus on celebrity news, while others look into serious topics like the connection between methamphetamine use and car theft. Video scenes can sometimes be disturbing -- like footage caught by the police of a car thief driving recklessly while smoking crack. Some of the thefts end in crashes, and even death. The user-generated video phenomenon itself is sometimes the focus of segments, such as the one that outlines the general rules for YouTube popularity (they include "keep it short" and "sex sells"). Despite the series' somewhat original newsmagazine concept, the connection between the Internet and television doesn't seem fluid. i-Caught still feels like a traditional newsmagazine/home video show with an Internet element tacked on. Because of the broad range of topics covered, parents might want to watch alongside younger viewers in case the material suddenly becomes too violent or racy.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the enormous popularity of user-generated content. Do you think YouTube-style content belongs on television? What makes short video clips like these so appealing? Where do people find them? What would be another way to feature Internet videos on TV? Have you ever uploaded anything onto YouTube or another video portal?