CBS has always been a cultural and critical giant. The network that aired I Love Lucy, All in the Family and Murphy Brown has had it’s share of misses (A League of Their Own, AfterMASH ), but now they’ve finally hit their stride. And leading the way is the revolutionary reality show The Briefcase. You can read the full review here. Basically CBS has found a way to commoditize the pain and anxiety of being poor in America by asking two separate
poor “American families experiencing financial setbacks” to decide how much of the $101,000 prize they keep and how much they give to the other “family experiencing financial setbacks.”
My only question is: what the hell took you so long? Why only make money off the poor when we could be entertained by them also? And why stop at just those facing financial difficulties? You’ve got a whole untapped market of marginalized groups that would be great TV shows. I’ve had more than a few great ideas so you can have these for free
The Illiterate Amazing Race
The Amazing Race has won 15 Emmy awards in its 11 year run. How many more awards could it win if the contestants couldn’t read those clues? We’ve already got the crumbling school system. All we need to do is take a few students from our country’s most neglected areas, and bingo! We get to watch people bumble through foreign countries even more, and children who weren’t given a proper education will finally find gainful employment.
Real Housewives of Kanawha, WV
The Real Housewives series has entertained for years with overly affluent, self- centered basket cases. So what better way to reinvigorate the show than by taking away the affluence and adding meth? Kanawha, WV isn’t special because 14 percent of its population lives under the poverty line, but its 235 meth labs are. Kanawah is the perfect “small town meets staggering drug problem” setting for your next group of Housewives. No reason to let a national addiction issue go unexploited.
Let’s not pretend you’re above this.
The LGBT Apprentice
Yes, there is a way that The Apprentice can become more depressing. Specifically, you could set the show in one of the 29 states where people can be fired for their sexual or gender identity. Finding gainful employment in this economy is difficult. Finding gainful employment while trying to hide your personal life from your employer lest they fire you for it? That’s a game show worthy of The Donald.
The Biggest, Biggest Loser
There’s already plenty of exploitation in The Biggest Loser . If there’s one group that faces society’s ire more than the poor, it might be the overweight. So why not combine the two? Give a group of overweight people looking to slim down only as much money as your average SNAP recipient receives. What’s that? As it turns out most people can’t manage a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins on only $125 a month? It’s almost like the whole system is set up against them! Poor families can’t afford healthier foods, often develop more chronic illnesses which in turn increase medical cost and decrease employment possibilities thereby making poor families poorer. It’s almost like the whole system is set up to benefit those who already have wealth to the detriment of the poor. But surely no one would be callous enough to take advantage of that inherently unfair system. And there’s no chance that someone blessed with the good fortune of being ridiculously rich in this country would have the blatant disregard for their fellow man to create a show exploiting others’ misfortune, right?
Fuck it, CBS. You’re clearly past facetious, passive- aggressive bitchery. Just air whatever bullshit you want.