To Catch A Predator should be revamped

“To Catch a Predator” is the kind of show that the world needs on air right now for a multitude of reasons.

The basic premise of the show is about catching internet sex predators who try and meet underaged girls, often 13-14 years old, that they talk to online. It follows the explicit chat-logs of the show’s planted decoy “girl” and the predator and shows the eventual meet up with the decoy at her “house”, which is actually a chosen filming location equipped with cameras. Upon arrival, the predator is greeted by Chris Hansen, the show’s host, who gives a line of questioning so embarrassing that they often ask to leave or bolt out without a single word. Their attempt to escape is foiled when they are arrested by police waiting outside the house.  

Confrontational shows like this are prime examples of what watchers love to consume: funny, awkward at moments, serious and educational at the same time. Hansen’s perfectly-timed questions are satisfying and to the point. In an episode where a man named Marvin had asked to meet an underaged girl at her house and immediately stripped naked upon entering, Hansen asked him to explain himself. When the predator attempted to brush it off as nothing, Hansen shot back with “Marvin, you’re naked!” 

The show broke the barrier that online anonymity can have, bringing creeps into the infamous light. Many of the predators would text the decoys sexually charged language and extremely inappropriate photos, yet when they arrived at the house and got caught they would act like they were being set up or that it was just a joke. When pulling up the concrete evidence of the chat logs, they are often read aloud their own predatory texts. This is the nail in the coffin for most of them, and when they realize they have no escape to what they have done.

While the show’s final episode aired in 2007, the concept has never been more relevant. As technology advances and talking to people online is just as typical as talking in real life, it would be even easier to catch these predators in the act. If “To Catch A Predator” is not revamped, a similar show with the same directness and humor is much needed in today’s digital society.

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