I know that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. I understand the danger he poses to Democracy. I understand the need to be informed, why the press needs to cover him, and why the Trump tell-all book is practically a whole subgenre to itself already (and I’ve read two of those books myself). How much do more do we really need to know about the President? At this point, we already know what his penis looks like in vivid detail.
At some point, we have to draw the line.
I’m sorry, Tom Arnold, but this is the line. A reality show about searching for a tape from a reality show with a reality-show President? I mean, come on! Enough already. There’s too much Trump in our lives as it is to waste more time on the search for something that will prove what we already know: That Trump is a racist. That Trump thinks his son is a “retard.” What new information could The Hunt for the Trump Tapes possibly reveal?
As it turns out, nothing really. The new Viceland series is a nice platform for Tom Arnold to exercise his manic energy, rant about the President, and ask a lot of experts and D-listers what they think of the President while ostensibly in search of the tape. But it’s the same information we’ve already processed a hundred times only in a different package, and that package looks like Tom Arnold.
Granted, I do appreciate how self-aware and self-effacing Arnold is in the series, but does anyone need to spend another half hour poring through Trump’s conversations with Howard Stern? Or watch Tom Arnold stake out Arnold Schwarzennegar’s house and then ambush him (in a very friendly way) about the whereabouts of the tapes? Or recount Penn Jillette’s experiences on The Apprentice (already detailed in a Vulture piece). Or talk to people on the street about their feelings about Trump?
It’s too much. It’s redundant. It magnifies our collective obsession and hatred of Trump, but it doesn’t say anything new whatsoever. It’s an excuse for Tom Arnold to make a show, and while I don’t have anything against Tom Arnold, I have no desire to allot any more time to him than I have to. If he finds the Trump tape? Great! Just release it! (And there are rumors he has found the N-word tape from The Apprentice and passed it on to Ronan Farrow.) But we don’t need to watch a reality show about it. Tom Arnold does not need to interview Anthony Scaramucci. No one needs to interview Anthony Scaramucci. We do not need to treat the reveal of potentially damaging information about the f—king President as the climactic finale to a goddamn reality show. This should not be a form of entertainment.
There has to be a line.
Header Image Source: Viceland