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clickbait tv show





Emily Tsiao

TV Series Review

What is “clickbait?”

Well, according to the dictionary, it’s content on the internet “whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.”

Most of the time, it’s just a tactic used by news sources to get people to read their articles, or by social media influencers to get people to watch their videos.

But for family-man Nick Brewer, it’s a matter of life and death.

Don’t Click This

When Nick’s little sister Pia first saw the video of her brother posted online, she wondered if it was some sort of sick joke.

The video showed Nick, bleeding and bruised, holding a sign in his own handwriting claiming he abused women. The next sign stated that if the video reached 5 million views, he would die.

Pia and Nick’s wife, Sophie, are quick to get the police on the case. But because the site is hosted by a foreign nation, police can’t take the video down.

Why is this happening? Nick’s family wonders. The video is a lie, they say. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. He’s gentle.

Unfortunately, the more time passes, the more popular the video becomes. People—strangers, more specifically—believe that Nick is a rapist and murderer. They think he deserves to die.

And as police continue to uncover new information in Nick’s case, Pia and Sophie begin to wonder if maybe they’ve been wrong about Nick all along.

Don’t Watch This

Clickbait feels a bit like the Black Mirrorepisode, “Hated in the Nation,” in which people were punished for their crimes based on how many times a hashtag was used on social media. And the results here aren’t much better.

People are beaten and even killed, extramarital affairs come to light, a woman takes her own life, a student admits she was sexually abused, and more.

Swearing (including uses of the f-word) is frequent. There’s a presence of homosexuality. Characters masturbate (though we don’t see anything onscreen) and we hear about offscreen sex.

In a way, Clickbait tries to show us the bad side of social media. A man’s life is threatened based on how many times people watch a video of him. A woman dies by suicide after someone texts her cruel comments. Hundreds of strangers use a geocaching app to search for Nick—not to help him but to harm him. And we learn about the dangers of catfishing (in which someone pretends to be another person online by using that person’s pictures).

But the risks far outweigh the benefits of this show. And my recommendation for Clickbait is much like the recommendation police gave to viewers of Nick’s video—don’t watch it.

Episode Reviews

Aug. 25, 2021: “The Sister”

When Nick is kidnapped and a video of him surfaces claiming that he’ll die if the vid reaches 5 million views, Pia tries to discover the truth behind her brother’s disappearance.

A woman masturbates while watching porn (we see her exposed shoulders and hear sounds from her and the video). Sophie finds a porn site listed in Nick’s browser history. A high school-aged boy tries to kiss Pia, but she rejects his advances. People flirt on a dating app.

The video of Nick shows him bleeding and bruised. He holds a sign that states he abuses women, and later one that says he killed someone (and several people call him a “rapist” in the comments of the video). Pia yells at police when they imply that the confession might be true.

People drink, and one woman is encouraged to have more when she becomes hysterical. Two people smoke marijuana. Others smoke cigarettes. Someone takes aspirin. A woman drops her phone in the toilet and then steals her roommate’s rice to dry it out.

A family argues, and Nick cruelly tells Pia to “get out of his life.” Members of the press invade the privacy of Nick’s family. We hear uses of the f-word and s-word, as well as “h—.” Christ’s name is abused, and we hear God’s name paired with “d–n.”

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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