Reality TV has officially gone too far

My friends and family know that I am a true reality television addict. I have loved reality TV from day one, when it was just “The Real World” on MTV. Then came “Survivor,” my favorite show of all time. And since then there have been many reality shows, both good and bad, for people with all sorts of interests.

I admit that I even watch bad ones. DVR is the best invention ever – I have it set to record certain shows, and I watch them on the weekends or in the wee hours of the night. What hooks me with these shows is the social interactions between the characters, including the scheming, and the scripting and the “acting” that they engage in.

Even shows that are somewhat objectionable, like Kid Nation, have caught my interest. While that show turned out well, the risk to the children’s safety was too high and their parents never should have sent them. A show like Intervention is very interesting to me, although it’s a bit controversial because some believe it’s exploiting addicts. Then there are the shows based upon strategy and game play, like Amazing Racing.

But one coming up on VH1 is sick. They’re calling it “Celebrity Rehab.” The therapist on the show is Dr. Drew Pinsky, and the stars include Daniel Baldwin (remember his freak-out on Celebrity Fit Club?). The New York Post also lists the following stars as participant on the show: Jessica Sierra of American Idol, former pro wrestler Chyna, porn star Mary Carey, and has-been Brigitte Nielsen.

The show apparently intends to follow these washed-up stars through their rehabilitation journey, documenting their drug and alcohol abuse and taking a look behind the closed doors of a rehab facility.

Maybe the intent behind this show was good. Maybe the producers intended to give viewers a reality check on the dangers of drug use. I’m doubtful of that. It’s about money, and the show will, in all likelihood, glamorize drug and alcohol abuse in some way.

Is nothing sacred anymore? Is everything in life fodder for reality television and the advertising dollars that come along with it?

UPDATE: I just saw a promotional piece for the show on VH1, and it is utterly disturbing. This is sick and it is exploitation at the highest level. The things they are showing on this show do not belong on a reality television show as entertainment. What a ridiculous and offensive show. VH1 is also showing a promotional video about Celebrity Rehab here.

3 thoughts on “Reality TV has officially gone too far”

  1. You’re right, that is total crap.

    On the bright side, I was just asking the other day “whatever happened to Brigitte Nielsen?” and now I know.

  2. The first ep is on VH1’s website and while I found it to be uncomfortable viewing, it doesn’t remotely glamorize drug and alcohol use. Quite the opposite actually. Also, it has a more serious tone by far than any other VH1 or MTV show…as well it should. I also think it’s no more exploitative than the shows – like Real World – that DO glamorize alcohol use and questionable ethics and let their “stars” run amok. At least the emphasis here is on the negative consequences of that behavior.

  3. Here’s what I’m thinking in terms of glamorizing it… the stars are shown at rock bottom, yet they are still on TV, still stars, still in the limelight. For those who are troubled, I wonder if the very fact that those people are on television isn’t glamorization in and of itself.

    I feel the same way about mass murders… The more publicity the perpetrators get, the more it may glamorize what they did for people who are troubled.


    You’re right… The Real World and other shows DO glamorize partying and alcohol and promiscuity.

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