For all you true crime nerds, Milo takes a look at the latest Chris Hansen crime series.
Why don’t you take a seat right over there? Take your hands out of your pockets. Now, sit back and enjoy what Milo has to say about the latest reboot of To Catch a Predator. Back in 2004, Dateline NBC aired a new segment entitled, To Catch a Predator with Chris Hansen (Hansen as host and interlocutor). After four years and twelve investigations under their belt, To Catch a Predator decided to hang up its coat, but people like myself remained fans and occasionally watched the old investigations on YouTube. The segment became so popular that Chris Hansen became a cultural icon and an internet meme used as a sarcastic way to call someone creepy. Despite the criticism the show has received, such as claims of entrapment and failing to provide enough evidence to file charges, the show did plenty of good. The on-camera interviews identified many dangerous individuals and did not paint these predators as innocent men making innocent mistakes.
Now, thanks to a KickStarter campaign begun in May 2015, Chris Hansen is back as the host of Crime Watch Daily, and he is incorporating his Predator reboot, calling it Hansen Vs Predator. The format is familiar: we have a watchdog group posing as underage kids, and the creeps who want to hookup with them are targeted. After they agree to meet, the predator is eventually confronted by Chris, and the interview gets brutal.
First, I want to state my gripes with this “new” Predator series, although there are only a few. The main disappointment, for me at least, is the focus on a single predator. Crime Watch Daily is not exclusively a Chris Hansen show and, with a run time of only 30 minutes, the segment only lasts about 10. To Catch a Predator on NBC was 44 minutes and multiple predators were caught. Ten minutes is simply not enough content to satisfy fans of the original show. I’m sorry, but if you try to pick up on little kids, I don’t feel bad if you get caught…and a lot more of you should be caught during Hansen Vs Predator. The second and last complaint is the weekly air time. Crime Watch Daily is obviously a “daily” airing program, but the Hansen Vs Predator skit is only twice a week. Again, a very limited amount of time and content.
Now, for my praise: Chris Hansen hasn’t lost his touch. He is brutal and in all the right ways. Simply using the transcripts of the predator’s electronic chats against them is enough to make you squirm. Not only is this entertainment for those of us who are interested in the legal system, but it also protects kids. Today, we live lives that are more interconnected than ever, and it has opened new criminal avenues for these kinds of people. Parents should be aware and understand what their children are doing. Although there are critics who (honestly, I cannot understand) say the show focuses more on ratings rather than actually protecting kids or caring about a very real issue. I would counter that it does both. Sure, it is overproduced and edited for entertainment, but there is no denying a simple fact: these guys typically confess directly to the police or to Chris, and if that had been a real child, a much more damaging situation could have occurred.
So, if you are interested in watching crime based news or are simply a fan of the original To Catch a Predator, I highly recommend “Catching” Hansen Vs Predator on Crime Watch Daily. Visit crimewatchdaily.com where you can also find out what channel airs the show in your area.