I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Finally, reality TV that even I can't watch.

So, everyone's been raving over "To Catch A Predator," on Dateline NBC... but I had never seen it.

So, while Jess and Cary were here, I guess we Tivo'ed it.

And I watched it because... apparently we recorded it. And I’m a slave to my Tivo.

It's really disturbing and hard to watch.

I have never seen a show that gives me the willies or makes me as uncomfortable as that show. I'm all for shows like "COPS" where the people on camera getting arrested and interviewed are, for the most part, committing STUPID crimes that are basically malum prohibitum - people getting arrested for things that are wrong not from a deeply moral perspective, but are only wrong by legislative decree; the crimes Dateline shows these guys trying to commit, are malum in se, crimes of inherent wrongness, like incest and murder - and there's something about putting someone's moral turpitude on TV like that, and witnessing the moment when their life collapses, is about as appealing to me as watching Saddam hang over, and over, and over again.

It's not. At all.

It's voyeurism to the basest degree on television. And I've seen some pretty awful crap out there.

There are few crimes out there that tarnish a person like sexual crimes... Not many years ago, being arrested for being gay would destroy a person like being arrested for pedophilia destroys people's reputations today... and I think being arrested for being a pedophile is probably one of the most societally unacceptable, and unaccepted crimes out there, probably even less acceptable than murder.

I'm all for show whatever on T.V., but even I have my limits. Sex? Bring it. Violence? I don't like it, but I can shut my eyes. Cursing? Big fucking deal. But putting such an intensely personal moment on television as additional retribution, under the guise of a fascinating television newsmagazine and under the guise of keeping your kids safer? Pass. Even I can't stomach that.


Blogger Yvette said...

But here's the difference between this and the other "reality" shows... Yes, it's a ratings-driven spectacle. BUT, this one has deterred crimes, educated parents, and brought justice to some fairly disgusting (and some merely stupid) people. One could make the argument that this is, therefore, the only redeeming reality show of the bunch.

9:55 PM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

Because I'm a cynic where media is concerned, I am not convinced they are making the show for it's redeeming qualities. It's voyeurism, and I can picture a boardroom full of people, brainstorming "ooh..what's worse than CSI and all those body parts? Oh! How about Predators! OO! Scary!" Then someone pipes in with "oh yeah, and we can pass it off as Edutainment because we're teaching people what bad guys look like."

No thanks. I'll stick to Food Network.


5:02 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Yvette, I'm not saying it has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and the fact that they've nabbed about 179 pedophiles can hardly be said to be a bad thing. (I don't know whether all of them were convicted - that's another matter.) Nevertheless, for me, like I said, watching the precise moment when someone's life implodes is a little too voyeuristic and raw. .

RT: I, too, stick to Food Network, and my Dave Lieberman. :) And I'm a CooJeu. (Cool Jew? Get it? Har-har-har!)

5:18 AM


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