Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo has teamed up with Netflix for a brand new prank show.
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The eight-part Netflix series, titled Prank Encounters, will follow two complete strangers who believe that they have landed a new job.
#StrangerThings star Gaten Matarazzo will host "Prank Encounters," a hidden camera prank show where two strangers each think it's their first day at a new job. It's business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares. pic.twitter.com/0jBFBb4gBD
— Netflix Queue (@netflixqueue) June 14, 2019
A release by Netflix explained, “It’s business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares.”
Fifteen-year-old Matarazzo, who is best known for playing Dustin in Stranger Things, will serve as executive producer and presenter of the new show, which is set to launch later this year.
While further details about Prank Encounters remain sparse, reaction from Twitter has been divisive, with some deeming the concept “tasteless” and “mean” – while others believing that the show is harmless.
Once in a writer’s room we jokingly tried to come up with the most heinous prank show ideas. My pitch was that we convinced people coming out of anesthesia after surgery that they’d been asleep for 30 years. This one actually might be meaner? https://t.co/Jywi43OIRa
— Caissie (@Caissie) June 15, 2019
I feel so sorry for Gaten Matarazzo, re: his tasteless 'prank show' and the (rightful) backlash about it. He's a kid and I guarantee he was surrounded by people telling him it's an amazing idea and anything else he wanted to hear. @Netflix has no such excuse for picking it up.
— Tʜᴇ Gɪʀʟ Wɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇ Dᴜɴɢᴇᴏɴs & Dʀᴀɢᴏɴs Tᴀᴛᴛᴏᴏ (@MoxieSwagger) June 16, 2019
Who thought it was a good idea to give Gaten Matarazzo from #StrangerThings a show pranking people trying to find work? These are people trying to feed their families and it’s just sick.
Are we going to prank chronically ill people seeking help next? Oh look, a cure! Sike.
— *Barely Around Elven Napper (@mims_words) June 15, 2019
i’m going to speak on the matters of Gaten’s situation right here, right now. on this prank show, the producers need the person’s permission to be aired and are most likely compensated. it’s just a PRANK , no harm is done and y’all can shove it.
— ⚯͛ (@davidharbore) June 16, 2019
A spokesperson for Netflix told RadioTimes.com, “The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time. All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.”
Stranger Things returns to Netflix next month for its much anticipated third series – which has been described by its stars as its “goriest” yet.
“It’s definitely gorier, which is pretty cool,” said Matarazzo on Good Morning America.
“If you don’t like gore stuff, I mean, watch it anyway. It’s not for the faint of heart, as some would say.”
Having been well over a year since the last instalment, Netflix’s vice president of original programming Cindy Holland says the delay is worth the wait.
“[Creators] The Duffer Brothers and [producer] Shawn Levy, they understand the stakes are high,” she said. “They want to deliver something bigger and better than last year. I think it’s going to be a fantastic season. It will be worth the wait.”
Stranger Things season three is set in the summer of 1985, which will see romance blossom within the group.
However, as their relationships grow and evolve, so does the threat of evil – with the group having to band together to survive.
Prank Encounters launches on Netflix later this year. Stranger Things series 3 launches on July 4th on Netflix.