By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
YouTube star's excessive language marks not-so-scary show.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's little redeeming quality to this show's content, which plays out like a prank show but is less engaging because the star is aware it's all a setup. The fact that its format includes some qualities of video games reminds kids that gaming was PewDiePie's avenue to fame and his fan base.
Positive Role Models
PewDiePie subjects himself to mildly frightening situations and reacts with a mixture of horror and humor.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of intended scares, with people jumping into the screen, a lot of screaming, and flickering lights. Each setup comes with its own inherent fright, as when PewDiePie is thrust into a (staged) mental ward with off-kilter patients lining the halls. Some blood, a dead body or two, implied electrocution and torture, and at least one instance of people turning on one of their own and bloodying her face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A recurring plot follows a woman's obsession with PewDiePie. There's some flirting but little more.
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PewDiePie utters a constant stream of red-letter language throughout each episode. "F--k" (and every imaginable version of it) is edited, but everything else goes: "s--t," "damn," "goddammit," "bulls--t," "Jesus Christ," and so on.
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Products & Purchases
This project is an extension of PewDiePie's fan-garnering original videos that show him gaming. Viewers for whom this is an introduction may want to check out PewDiePie's other YouTube offerings.
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.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 7 parent reviews
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Pewdiepie is not suitable for kids
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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?
- Premiere date: February 10, 2016
- Cast: Felix Kjellberg
- Network: YouTube
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 26, 2022
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