A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
At heart, this is a rather mean-spirited show. People conspire with the producers to create elaborate scenarios that will terrify unsuspecting victims. Watching people who are clearly terrified and in distress may not be fun for all viewers.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the pranks feature faked violence, which often has the victim completely fooled but seems pretty obvious to viewers. There's almost no blood or gore, though some of the scenarios feature various levels of pyrotechnics.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex or nudity. This show is all about pranks, and there's little focus on romance.
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Many of the victims react to the show's pranks with some choice words or phrases. These words are bleeped, but it's not hard to figure out what they're saying.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this hidden-camera show is all about deception. Producers set up elaborate scenarios involving monsters, psychic powers, mysterious experimental drugs, and other quasi-supernatural themes -- all in the name of tricking and terrifying an unsuspecting victim. The situations are often quite clever and are carried off quite well, so it's not surprising that the victims are usually completely fooled. As a result, the big "payoff" is watching someone who's scared out of their wits. Their reactions are genuinely fearful, which can be unpleasant to watch. Bottom line? At its core, the show is mean-spirited.
Is It Any Good?
The producers do a commendable job of setting the scene and selling it to the victims. Despite the fact that these monsters-in-the-dark seem straight out of the late-late-show's central casting department, the people are usually completely fooled. They tremble, their voices crack, and they're visibly relieved when someone finally tells them they're actually part of a TV show.
But is that good television? Comedian Tracy Morgan, who hosts the show, seems to take great delight in fooling people, as do the victim's friends, who are in on the act. But the people being deceived certainly aren't having fun -- not when they honestly believe they're in danger. And it's hard to say whether it's that much more enjoyable for them after the big reveal. Like many reality shows, Scare Tactics tries to transform pain and discomfort into entertainment for viewers; whether you find it entertaining or not, chances are you'll be glad you aren't on the show yourself.
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Our Editors Recommend
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