There’s always been something a little bit sadistic about “Punk’d” and some of these other hidden-camera shows out there. As ridiculous as some of these stunts are (and as funny as they can end up being), you are really just laughing at the pain of someone else.
Thankfully, what always makes this show endearing (and why it worked here) is that the celebrities getting pranked are always so okay with it after it happens. Host Justin Bieber (who has developed into a pretty great on-air personality over the years) took on three different targets over the course of the episode, the the end results ranged from completely successful to incredibly lame:
Taylor Swift – Easily the best prank, mostly because it involved Taylor thinking that she set a bot on fire during a wedding. Strong production values, and the lock of horror on Taylor’s face was priceless since she felt like she had really done something terrible and was going to prison.
Rob Dyrdek – Rob’s prank fizzled at the start, mostly because he was too smart for his own good and knew what was going on pretty much at the very beginning. Thankfully, he brought in Sean Kingston as a replacement punk and it worked out a little bit better — though the whole basis of the gig (a girl getting angry and driving a car at a restaurant patio) really seemed too fake for this show.
Miley Cyrus – This one was short, but far more effective than the yawn-worthy stunt with Rob. Justin actually made Miley think that she was punking him with a group of unruly skateboarders — when it reality, the opposite was going down. Miley’s face in her studio — where she looked like she was about to swallow her mic in shock and Justin beating the snot out of somebody.
Overall, we admit that this is the same sort of show that the old “Punk’d” was, even without Ashton Kutcher — it can be funny in spots, but it’s all going to depend on the level of the star power and how well they react to the madness around them. Thankfully, this time around we starting things off with a bang — and some pranks that did not make us feel too guilty for laughing.
Did you like the premiere?