Viral Video Showdown

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Viral Video Showdown TV Poster Image
Creativity and edgy themes get airtime in video contests.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series highlights the talent, creativity, and skills necessary to produce quality material. Some of the storylines developed for videos feature questionable behaviors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The judges and teams are from all walks of life and seem to enjoy what they do. Many of them have a background in film and TV production.


Occasional storylines include bloody scenes, knives, and scary moments. Guns and other weapons are sometimes fired, but it's all very obviously fake.


Contains some risqué moments, including close-up shots of women's cleavage and other suggestive scenes. People occasionally take their clothes off, but no nudity is visible.


"Hell," "damn"; stronger vocab bleeped.


Twitter is prominently featured. Attempts are made to cover Apple computer logos, but they are clearly visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes often feature characters drinking wine, martinis, and other alcoholic beverages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Viral Video Showdown features creative and skilled producers creating online videos for a cash prize and bragging rights. The series highlights the talent and skill that goes into creating quality online content, but many of the videos contain some risque content (including close-up shots of cleavage and images of people undressing, but no nudity), fighting, weapons, and other mature themes. Words like "hell" are sometimes audible, but stronger curses are bleeped. Teens who like to watch or make their own content will find this series interesting, but some of of the content might be too strong for tweens.

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What's the story?

VIRAL VIDEO SHOWDOWN is a reality competition that features talented viral video creators competing for a cash prize of $5,000. Hosted by Kevin Pereira, each episode features two teams of video creators producing high-end Internet videos that contain content that is well-written, well-produced, and entertaining. The twist? They only have four days and a tiny budget to do it. After a non-stop schedule of writing scripts, acting, filming, editing, scoring, and incorporating special effects, the teams show their final videos to the panel of judges: Adam Sessler, the editor-in-chief of games content for the G4 Network, notable viral video producer Brittani Taylor, and Sandeep Parikh, creator and director of Comedy Central's online series, The Legend of Neil. The team they believe produced the most creative and all-around impressive video wins the cash and gets to brag about their success. Meanwhile, audiences can vote for their favorite team video via Twitter to help them win a $2,500 cash prize.

Is it any good?

Viral Video Showdown underscores how, like television and film, creating and producing quality Internet content requires talent, money, skill, and time. It also showcases the process by which this content gets made, beginning from brainstorming sessions to coming up with a good story idea to inserting last-minute special effects with the use of computer software to create a visual masterpiece.

Teens interested in what goes into creating film, TV, and online content will definitely be drawn to what is being done here. Some may even be inspired to begin creating their own videos, especially when they see some of the familiar home computer equipment being used to do the work. Overall, the show demonstrates that the Internet may be a wild place, but it has the potential to feature some smart and creative work, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online videos. What are the differences between producing online videos vs. movies or TV shows? What characteristics do online videos have to have to be considered "good"? Do you think sites like YouTube feature high-quality content?

  • Do you think Internet videos creators should limit the amount of sexual, violent, and/or other mature content they put in their work? Parents: What are some of the ways you can protect kids from seeing this material before they are ready?

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