If you’re old enough to remember the pre-streaming era of television, chances are you can recall the popularity surrounding the NBC show “To Catch a Predator.”
Whether you loved or hated journalist Chris Hansen’s approach, the show nevertheless produced some indelible cultural moments during the first decade of the century.
He’s at it again
Hansen is nearly 20 years older than he was when that show first aired, but he clearly hasn’t lost his knack for producing some compelling sting footage. His new show, “Takedown with Chris Hansen,” isn’t on a major network like his last one was (it comes on the true crime network TruBlu), but you’ll instantly recognize many of the same trademarks of his earlier work.
There are also a few unexpected twists and turns, including a deep dive into a story that Hansen said “shows the dangers of what many parents and people think are safe social media platforms.”
As for his motivation to keep doing the work that made him a household name, he said: “If you can understand the mind of a predator, you can better protect yourself from being victimized by one.”
You can check out some of the new series by clicking here.
A complex legacy
Hansen’s prior show has been at least peripherally involved in about 500 arrests and helped shed important light on the issue of child sexual abuse — particularly on the internet. Find out what happened to some of those men in this video.
At the same time, some critics say the show helped fuel an increase in vigilante justice as people sought to replicate Hansen’s style of confronting suspected predators.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Adam Scott Wandt advised: “private citizens taking law enforcement into their own hands is a problem for our society.”