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 Walk the Prank is a scripted comedy series that shows tweens pulling pranks on unsuspecting people and posting the videos on their online channel. There's a fictional story written around these pranks, and it has the same problem other hidden-camera shows have, namely being a forum for having fun at an unsuspecting victim's expense. Many of the jokes involve real scares (costumed people jump out and frighten them, or they set up hauntings and the like) and show the targets running away and screaming in fear; not all of them let viewers see how the people react to the big reveal of the hoaxes. While the jokes themselves are funny, it's also somewhat concerning that the tweens seem to revel in the experience and take real joy in putting people through them.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In WALK THE PRANK, four tweens design practical jokes for their online hidden-camera show. Friends Chance (Cody Veith), Bailey (Jillian Shea Spaeder), and Dusty (Brandon Severs), along with Chance's younger brother, Herman (Bryce Gheisar), design large-scale pranks, such as a haunted house and a disobedient life-size robot, with the help of Dusty's Uncle Will (Tobie Windham) and props from his joke shop. After capturing the victims' reactions to their work, they post the videos online for their fans' entertainment.
Is it any good?
Part reality series and part scripted comedy, this unique show doesn't really succeed at either format, and the jokester tweens come across as more annoying than anything else. They use their experiences in their "real-world" lives at school and at home to inspire the pranks they pull, but their victims are strangers to them and have no reason to suspect that what they're walking into could send them scurrying out of the room in fear. For the tweens, though, the primary concern is always how well the videos play online and how many views they get.
As pranks themselves go, these are pretty elaborate and expertly executed, and the kids are impressive actors in their accompanying roles. Walk the Prank will make you chuckle, but always at the expense of someone else, and that's the rub. Should another person's misfortune be considered entertainment? It raises plenty of issues you can (and should) discuss with your kids if they watch, particularly related to the characters' use of the Internet to further their notoriety through these practical-joke videos.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pranks and their effects. Are jokes like these always harmless, or are there times they're not appropriate? Kids: Do you like being the center of attention when it involves discomfort, such as these targets' experiences?
Can you relate to the characters' love of pulling these practical jokes? In your opinion, is this a worthwhile hobby? How could this kind of behavior get people into trouble in the real world?
Kids: Do you watch videos on sites such as YouTube? How has the Internet changed how we assign celebrity status? Is it easier to become famous now that information is so attainable through the Internet? Is this a good thing or a bad thing, and why?
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