When I was a kid, I loved Candid Camera. Now NBC has taken that format and made it better. Dateline’s To Catch a Predator is my new voyeuristic guilty pleasure.
If you haven’t seen any of the episodes yet, here’s what happens: Dateline producers log onto internet chat rooms pretending they’re 13-year-old girls or boys looking for sex with an Older Man. Then they lure the men (they’re always men) to a house in the suburbs. Once the guys walk through the door looking for their jailbait date, they’re confronted by a reporter – and a house full of hidden cameras. It’s like Candid Camera: Pedophile Edition. It’s the only show where you actually see people’s lives flash before their eyes. Doctors, rabbis, priests (duh) make up excuses, beg for mercy, and plead for the tapes not to be used. Sure, it’s entrapment, but the guys are pervs. And people love to watch because they can take the high moral ground and still revel in the salaciousness of it all.
And apparently a lot of people are reveling – NBC is planning four new episodes for sweeps. The first one airs tonight.
– Todd R