Online Nation

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Online Nation TV Poster Image
User-generated videos jump from Web to TV.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Some videos are clever, while others feature behavior that's silly, bizarre, and/or potentially offensive (in other words, just like what you see online). Some clips include racial stereotypes. One animated piece shows an animated Britney Spears flipping what appears to be her middle finger; another features someone illegally deceiving the DMV. While most stunts featured are mild, some (like a human catapult) could result in injury if attempted in real life.

Violence

Includes spoofs of people being hit by cars, having various other accidents, punching, pushing, and being held up. Guns (presumably fake) and fake blood are visible in some of these clips. Some dangerous stunts (like a human catapult) are shown.

Sex

Some videos contain hugging, kissing, and sexual innuendo. References to events like Britney Spears not wearing underwear in public. Occasional shirtless men (but not women).

Language

Words like "hell" and "damn" are audible; stronger choices, like "f--k," are bleeped.

Consumerism

Some brands (like Mentos) are shown/featured; others have their labels blurred out. Celebrities like Britney Spears and popular icons like Batman are often parodied or spoofed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol, including beer and pictures of mixed drinks, is featured in some of the video clips.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this interactive TV series features video clips from various Web sites, as well as snippets from videos uploaded onto the show's own site. While some of the clips are fun (and at times very sophisticated), others are silly, shocking, and just plain weird -- exactly like what teens see on the Internet every day. Content varies widely and can include celebrity spoofs, fake blood and prop guns, and potentially dangerous stunts (a human catapult, for example).

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What's the story?

Bringing user-generated Web content even further into the mainstream, ONLINE NATION is an interactive series that uses online video clips from sites like YouTube to produce a show that has a lot in common with America's Funniest Home Videos.

Is it any good?

Like the clips shown on AFHV, the amateur digital videos include lots of parodies and pranks that range from fun and entertaining to silly and/or shocking. (And some make you wonder if the creators just had too much time on their hands.) Online personalities Stevie "Little Loca" Ryan, Rhett McLaughlin, Lincoln "Link" Neal, and actress Joy Leslie host the show, sometimes contributing their own unique online content as well.

Online Nation will appeal to today's generation of Web-savvy content producers and viewers -- especially since it provides another outlet for their digital masterpieces. And folks who aren't yet very familiar with user-generated videos can tune in to see the range of creative, unique, and sometimes slightly disturbing content that calls the Web home.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature of the content featured on the show. Why do people spend so much time making videos and putting them on sites like YouTube? Is it an attempt to get their 15 minutes of fame or just for fun? What makes videos like these so appealing? Would you consider making and posting one of your own? Why or why not? Families can also discuss online videos in general. Is there too much "inappropriate" content on the Web? Who decides what's appropriate when it comes to the Internet? (For our Internet safety guide, click here.)

TV details

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