09th Apr2021

‘Prank Encounters: Season 2’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

A little while ago I reviewed the first season of Prank Encounters that was hosted by the enchanting Gaten Mazzerato. I hadn’t heard anything about the show since, so I assumed that there would be no second season but to my surprise, Netflix released another season! This is a show that is somewhat similar to the iconic prank show Prank Patrol which was a piece of nostalgia that people my age still reference the catchphrase “You’ve been pranked by the Prank Patrol” even today. However Prank Encounters is a much more intense show, that works – mostly – due to the innocent and charming nature of Gaten; who hosts the show and calls down the victims at the end of the show. He has a smile that can’t help but make you feel at ease and so was the perfect choice to host this show!

So this show selects two victims (which I would be interested to see how they are selected) who are put into these complex pranks that they know nothing about. They are put into situations that each have their comprehensive backstory and a plethora of actors who play the other roles in the story. The actors in this show deserve the highest of praise as they are completely improvising with the unsuspecting victims but still put on a believable performance that showcases a very high level of acting talent! The same cast of actors are in each episode and play different characters based on the story being told, which again shows a very high level of acting ability! The two unsuspecting victims are cast into two different roles who through the course of the episode cross paths which usually results in some gruesome/terrifying experience. This means that at the beginning of the episode the perspectives flick back and forth from each person (which is orchestrated by Gaten himself) which does initially become tiresome but once they have collided with each other this stops.

Now, unlike Prank Patrol, Prank Encounters is a show that is not suitable for a young audience. This show contains some very intense and dark pranks that made even me feel uneasy. The first episode in this season was incredibly terrifying and intense which contained jump-scares from realistic-looking zombies and demonic possession. I thought this first episode was way scarier than it should have been and, if it had happened to me, I think my heart would have just stopped there and then! The episodes do seem to mellow out as the season progresses as the “Mind Field” episode and “The Other Dimension” had a much bigger focus on drama and tension rather than gruesome and gore. There is also a lot of strong language from the victims (which in my opinion is incredibly justified!)

Overall, this is a very intense prank show that unintentionally develops a great sense of empathy for the victims (due to the severity of the pranks) and while Gaten’s nature can cover up so much of it with his jovial smile, even he struggled to calm down some of the victims in this season. The episodes are only 30 minutes long but due to the complexity of the stories, it does feel a lot longer but does not drag!

*** 3/5

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