One of the reasons I love network TV (possibly the only reason) is that just when you’re so fed up with all the bullshit that you’re about to swear off TV altogether, something crawls out from the wreckage, much like a wildflower seeking out the sun. To Catch a Predator is just such a flower.
I was a fan of the Dateline clips of the same name from the moment they aired on YouTube, but I held out no hope or expectation that the bit would get a spin-off. I was personally hoping to see a full hour of John Stossel’s delightful reports, but alas, it’s beginning to seem like that is only a pipe dream. The point is, I was flipping through the channels one day, lamenting the lack of quality programming, beer in hand (probably). All of a sudden, something beautiful appeared before me. At first I thought it was just another one of the Dateline bits, but slowly it dawned on me that this was no ordinary segment on America’s favorite news magazine. It was, in fact, its own show. The BEST SHOW EVER MADE.
There are so many reasons I love this show, I don’t know where to begin. First of all, unlike, say, Dr. Phil, with this show there’s no pussyfooting around it. It’s all child molesters, all the time. No phony cliffhangers, no lie detector test results that take three episodes to be revealed. No, it’s just good honest American kidfuckers, naked, armed, and humiliated beyond belief. Plus, they don’t spend a half hour analyzing one boring guy. In fact, they manage to squeeze in more mini-dramas in their time slot than probably any other reality-style show.
Another thing that blows me away is the cheesily reenacted IM transcripts. For one thing, instead of LOL, they have them giggle ridiculously. It’s really weird. Also, they manage to get the most wholesome sounding actors to play the child molesters. By the time the guy shows up you expect him to be Charles Bronson.
What I always wonder is, are there really this many child molesters in the world? I guess it makes sense, but who’s dumb enough to hit on kids on the internet these days? Doesn’t anyone watch, say, To Catch a Predator?