The video: "You just got punk'd!" In 2003, Ashton Kutcher spawned that catch phrase with his hit MTV reality show Punk'd, in which he played elaborate practical jokes on celebrities. (Among the most memorable pranks: Convincing Justin Timberlake that his home was being seized by government agents because of unpaid income tax, and tricking Beyonce into thinking that she knocked over a 50-foot Christmas tree, destroying presents for underprivileged children underneath it.) The series ran for four years and 64 episodes — and now it's being revived. Kutcher returns as producer, with a rotating cast of celebrities — including Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber — serving as hosts. The first new episode airs March 19, and MTV has already released a preview clip. (Watch it below.) In the featured prank, Miley Cyrus and Kelly Osbourne pull a fast one on Khloe Kardashian, who scrambles to figure out what to do when a delivery boy who asks to use her bathroom supposedly gets his genitals caught in his pants zipper.
The reaction: If this preview clip is any indication, Punk'd 2.0 is going to be even "more immature and less funny" than the original, says Natalie Zutter at Crushable. "This is a ninth-grade prank, and a pretty lame one at that." True, says Shanté Cosme at Complex. Juvenile pranks like this make me skeptical that Punk'd will regain its "once fear-inducing reign." But just remembering some of the show's most brilliant gags, and how one brought Timberlake to tears, is enough reason to give this reboot a shot. See the preview:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
Paul Allen's 'bitter' Bill-Gates-bashing memoir
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
Subscribe to the Week