If you’ve at odds with someone or something, there’s a good chance a reality show exists that focuses on your problem. Internet trolls, one of the most infuriating groups of asshats ever birthed from bile, have met their match with the Swedish TV series Troll Hunter (Trolljägarna) – no, not that one – in which the brutish journalist Robert Aschberg and his team track down malicious online attackers and confront them with their thought-to-be anonymous hatred. It makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it.
Having premiered in April 2014, Troll Hunter became a bit of a phenomenon, both from a television and a social perspective. Kind of like one of Tosh.O’s Web Redemptions turned up to 11, Aschberg is bringing to light the scorn of Internet communities everywhere, and it’s quite surprising how big the problem is in Sweden itself. But as GamerGate has shown us time and again, unprovoked hatred is a boundless plight.
Troll Hunter, in its five-episode first season, took on a man who started a hateful campaign against an alleged rape victim, which brought her to attempt suicide, plus several extreme racists and other bigots who regularly slander schoolmates and coworkers. Or just random people. All bets are off in the Troll zone. According to Technology Review, Aschberg even had one incident where a man straight up denied having harassed a girl about her shrunken hand for many months, claiming his Facebook profile was hacked. Even though he also sent hateful things in the mail as well. Smart.
Check out a preview for the show below, in which I realize just how terrible my understanding of the Swedish language is.
Considering how often foreign shows get remade these days, combined with a more public disapproval of shitty Internet behavior, it seems likely that a cable channel will Americanize this concept before the year is over with. The U.S. probably has more heinous Internet trolls than Sweden has people living in it, so there would never be a lack of subject matter. For the hosts, I’m thinking it would be a tag team of To Catch a Predator’s Chris Hansen and The Jerry Springer Show’s Steve Wilkos, with Dog the Bounty Hunter standing nearby.
Troll Hunter is currently filming its second season, and even if it doesn’t get remade anytime soon, we can hopefully expect to find this imported to the U.S. via Hulu (or something) soon.