If you've watched Stranger Things, you know just how adorable Gaten Matarazzo is. Since Season 1, Gaten, who plays Dustin, has been a fan favorite. And Netflix knows that, which is why they are giving him his own show. Here's everything you need to know about Prank Encounters on Netflix and why some people aren't exactly thrilled with the supernatural scare show.
What's Prank Encounters on Netflix about?
The new prank show isn't about doing ordinary pranks. Considering Gaten is known for Stranger Things, you can expect that it's going to get a little strange. The show is about doing supernatural pranks on unsuspecting people. Gaten stars as the host, in a similar vein to Ashton Kutcher hosting Punk'd. Oh and, by the way, Gaten, who is only 17, is also an executive producer on the show.
The show follows two regular people who are told that they're being hired for a part time job and they come to work to find their work conditions a lot more supernatural than they're expecting. Aside from Gaten, the rest of the cast of the show is on hand to bring those supernatural occurrences to life.
So what's the controversy?
Not everyone is very excited about the premise. Mainly, the issue is the fact that the people who are being pranked are looking for work and they're told that they were hired for the day. But instead of a job, they're actually hired to be a part of a terrifying nightmare.
There's been quite a bit of backlash online with people claiming that the show is taking advantage of people who are struggling to find work and are already in an emotionally fragile state. Some of Gaten's fans are even telling him to back out of the show as it'll be something that will reflect poorly on him for the rest of his career.
A Netflix spokesperson addressed the controversy in a statement released to TIME. He stated that, "All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.” So even though they didn't get the gig they were quite expecting they still were paid for their time with Prank Encounters.
The other complaint that has come out so far about the series is that it sounds incredibly similar to Scare Tactics, which was on Syfy and Chiller from 2003 to 2013. On Scare Tactics, regular people encountered monsters and supernatural creatures in creepy pranks on a hidden camera show, which sounds remarkably similar to Prank Encounters.
When is it out?
Controversy or no controversy, it's hard to ignore Gaten's adorable appeal. If you want to watch Dustin scare the bejeezus out of people, the show is releasing eight episodes on Oct. 25, so you can binge-watch all Halloween long. Prank Encounters is a part of Netflix's Halloween lineup so it'll be out just in time to scare the pants off of you for All Hallow's Eve.
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