March 31, 2006

The Horrors of Central Casting

We've already written about the travesty that is reality television's latest offering: Miracle Workers. That posting is made even more poignant by a recent report from the Associated Press that the woman featured on next week's show has died as a result of complications following the televised, last-ditch use of an experimental artificial heart pump.

The horrors of reality TV, however, don't stop there. Survivor's annoying, The Apprentice is bad, and Miracle Workers is disturbing, but what is completely offensive is the revelation that another reality program, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which builds homes for needy families, seems to be selecting which families to help not based on need but on what The Smoking Gun calls a creepy wish list of woe"

It turns out that producers of the program, which features former-Trading Spaces star and Sears-shill Ty Pennington, are specifically looking for families who have lost a child in a drunk-driving accident, or who have members suffering from very specific diseases - muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig Disease, and progeria. It reminds me of the Family Guy episode where Peter cons a Make-a-Wish-esque foundation in order to get his favorite television show renewed. The fictious foundation featured on Family Guy chose which dying children to help based on their Q factor, but once again the writers of my favorite animated are not so far off the mark.
-Sean Philpott

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