Friday, August 26, 2005

Reality TV Ups the Ick Ante


By Lisa Haddock
NJ Faith Forum Editor

When it comes to reality TV, it’s hard to tell when a new low has been achieved.

After all, Fox’s “Cops” (now in its 18th season) has shown law officers tangling with assorted lowlifes: drunks, wife-beaters, psychos, crack heads, and various mullet-wearing, toothless criminals.

Since 2001, NBC’s “Fear Factor” has broadcast gag-producing stunts -- forcing contestants to eat pureed insects and even live snails.

And this year, the Discovery Channel launched “Dirty Jobs.” High on the TMI (too much information) scale was the episode showing host Mike Rowe inseminating a mare.

But “Big Brother” producer John de Mol may have set the bar higher or lower – depending your perspective. He is planning "I Want Your Child ... and Nothing Else!" The series will focus on a woman’s search for a sperm donor. The show will be shown in the Netherlands on De Mol’s new Talpa network. I send regrets to our Dutch friends.

I’m as guilty as the next person. I have watched “The Osbournes,” “Family Plots,” “The Anna Nicole Show,” “Brat Camp,” “Intervention,” “Celebrity Fit Club,” “Nanny 911” – and innumerable crime documentaries. But where are our morals when we watch people degrade and expose themselves – all for a little fame and cash? Sometimes, it’s too much for me and I switch channels. But I admit it’s harder to trigger my ick response.

To read Reuters story about De Mol, click below:
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  • 1 comment:

    njfaithforum said...

    Comments:
    We are becoming desensitized as a society with reality TV's sensationalism. I like to see talent, educational and animal shows such as Miracle Pets. There is too much craziness in the world today just by watching the news.
    # posted by Anonymous : Sun Aug 28, 10:36:15 AM EDT

    This post has been removed by the author.
    # posted by MyManMisterC : Thu Sep 22, 03:24:25 PM EDT

    I have to disagree when it comes tor Reality Television on a few instances. In particular the shows that are of washed up celebrities trying to be relevant again. Tommy Lee goes to College would be a lousy sit-com. But because it is a reality show, it works really well because you get a realness that a script can't produce.

    In terms of the new sperm donor show, I think it could rasie some ethical questions that few think about. Maybe the title is what is making you stomach churn, I can understand that. However it is a part of the reproductive debate that we are addressing in these times and one that shouldn't be overlooked. I'll agree that glamorizing and making a game show out of bringing life into the world is extremely irresponsible, but maybe it will show a side of morality and the critical issues people face that could lend some insight that will be of value.
    # posted by MyManMisterC : Thu Sep 22, 03:26:19 PM EDT