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 Scare PewDiePie is a Web series from YouTube personality and gamer PewDiePie. The show puts its star through a series of supposedly terrifying challenges in different settings that are staffed with actors. In each case, he has a task to complete to earn his freedom, much like in a video game. The actual fright level of the show is mostly laughable, with minimal blood, a dead body or two, and only the occasional violence (a woman is attacked by patients in a mental ward, for instance). Despite that, PewDiePie responds to every scare with excessive, strong language ("f--k" is edited; "s--t," "goddammit," "bulls--t," and so on are audible) and an implausible sense of forced terror. The result is somewhat entertaining, but it's hard to see it as anything but a thinly veiled ploy for more airtime from this Internet star. Note that PewDiePie came under fire in 2017 for posting anti-Semitic videos and imagery, and his Disney-owned studio dropped him. YouTube also canceled his show.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SCARE PEWDIEPIE follows Internet personality PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) as he puts his gaming expertise to the test in staged real-world horror settings. Each episode sees him facing an obstacle course of fear and on a set that's staffed with actors who hinder his escape.
Is it any good?
This poorly conceived YouTube series dangles awkwardly between presenting IRL ("in real life") versions of video games within the strange concept of a semi-reality series and delivering real scares to either the star or the audience. It's obvious that PewDiePie has had a hand in creating these staged sets, even if some of the minor details remain a surprise to him, and very little of what goes on is the least bit scary. In the end, it winds up being a rather lackluster forum for more screen time for the star. His existing fan pool will want to watch, but it's unlikely to appeal to newcomers.
Even though the content won't leave teens weak-kneed, PewDiePie's torrent of salty language throughout each experience makes it less than ideal for them. One has to wonder if, faced with the mundacity of the show's content, PewDiePie overshoots on the naughty words for mere shock value. In any case, there are plenty of other, more meaningful options for teens' attention.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how platforms such as YouTube have changed how we assign celebrity status. Is the fact that just about anyone can achieve stardom a good thing or a bad thing? How can the Internet help launch a person's popularity? On the other hand, what dangers exist in putting oneself out there for all to see?
Was anything about this series truly scary? Did PewDiePie ever seem genuinely frightened? Do you like being scared when you watch TV or a movie?
Teens: Do you enjoy video games or online gaming? What is enticing about the level playing field of virtual gaming?
For kids who love silly scares
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