Prank Academy

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Prank Academy TV Poster Image
Internet stars help celebs stage funny hoaxes on friends.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

The prank victims are generally good sports when the truth comes out, and everyone has a good laugh at the predicament after the shock wears off. That said, the show makes light of people putting others on the spot and having fun with their obvious discomfort.

Positive role models & representations

The hosts and their conspirators get big entertainment out of playing tricks on unsuspecting people. The victims aren't random, and their reactions vary between immediate relief that the situation was contrived and short-lived plots for revenge. Overall, though, it's obvious no one is out to cause serious emotional harm to anyone else.

Violence

No violence, but some of the pranks involve stunts that are meant to look dangerous, as when a woman is lit on fire by a cooking stove. In each case, the tricks were carefully planned and involve professionals, so there's little danger of actual injury, but the prank victims don't know that and react accordingly.

Sex

Some wink-wink moments and suggestive comments by adults, but nothing blatant.

Language

"S--t" is audible; "f--k" is edited.

Consumerism

The show's stars rose to internet fame on a YouTube channel PrankvsPrank. Each episode sees them scheming with a celeb from the internet, TV, or sporting worlds, which facilitates verbal plugs for the participants' projects.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Prank Academy is a web show that stars YouTube personalities Jeana Smith and Jesse Wellens along with celebrity guests planning jokes on their friends. Professional stunt people and extras help stage the pranks, making them very believable and the victims' reactions very authentic. Expect to be highly entertained, especially because the show's 14-minute format keeps things moving along at a brisk clip and keeps the victims' length of discomfort to a minimum. Some language ("s--t" is audible; "f--k" is edited) makes this an iffy choice for kids. If you watch with your tweens and teens, though, use the opportunity to talk about the fine line between good-natured pranking and more harmful bullying behavior.

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What's the story?

Jokesters Jeana Smith and Jesse Wellens, the popular prank-pulling couple of internet fame, share their talents with others in PRANK ACADEMY. Each episode sees the hosts scheming with a celebrity guest to put one over on an unsuspecting friend in hilarious fashion. Using professional props, stunt people, and extras, these elaborate hoaxes will have their victims plotting revenge in a hurry.

Is it any good?

From cooking-show mishaps to choreographed public brawls, these polished pranks get big laughs from everyone involved once the truth comes out. The conspirators obviously have fun staging them, and the victims are decent sports about the short-lived stress after the dust clears. With professionals setting the scene and manning the stunts, it's no wonder the subjects don't have a clue they're the brunt of a joke until the big reveal. These are top-notch ploys set up by people who don't joke around about their pranks.

Prank Academy is a fun pick for parents with tweens and teens, but occasional language and some innuendo keep it from being full family fare. It's also a great way to start conversations with your kids about bullying, as you can compare and contrast the players' actions with more hurtful intentions kids may have witnessed or experienced in their own lives.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. What defines behavior that's bullying in nature? Is everyone's sensitivity to teasing the same, or do different people have different tolerance levels? How does it feel to be the center of attention when you didn't choose it? Do you think Prank Academy is bullying?

  • What kinds of surprises are good ones and which aren't? Have you ever planned a surprise that went wrong? Do you like being surprised?

  • Tweens: Do you watch web shows and YouTube channels like PrankvsPrank? How do they differ from what's on TV? Who are your favorite internet celebrities? How has the internet changed who we revere as a star?

TV details

For kids who love practical jokes

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