Thursday, June 7, 2012

New "Reality" Show Treats Evictions As Entertainment

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you might get the impression that I hold out no hope of our sick civilization managing to save itself. You would be right in that assumption, and from the Raw Story, here is yet another reason why:
A U.S. cable channel best known for featuring mixed martial arts fighting and video games is preparing to launch a show based upon another, decidedly less visible American contact sport: evictions.

“World’s Worst Tenants” will feature crazy-but-true stories, as recounted and apparently acted out by professional evictor Todd Howard and his team of… other evictors. Just don’t call them thugs.

“Howard and his team take viewers behind closed doors into the most heated, high-stakes disputes between landlords and their tenants,” the show’s website explains. “Each mission documents the process and procedure that allows this no-holds-barred team to operate within legal guidelines to resolve each case on behalf of their clients.”

Don’t call it a “reality” show, either. “The series showcases the most compelling stories in his career through reenactments of many of the actual confrontations that Howard and his team have experienced over the years,” the site adds.

Evictions and home foreclosures have become a hot-button political issue since the 2008 economic crisis engulfed Wall Street firms that had leveraged too much risky debt. Protesters with the “Occupy” movement in the U.S., and other groups in countries around the world, have taken to staging sit-in demonstrations during foreclosures and evictions as a way of not only protecting their neighbors, but also making a point about economic fairness and income inequality.

It’s not clear why Spike TV decided to go with reenactments of actual evictions as opposed to a “Dog the Bounty Hunter” style ride-along show. Spike TV producers did not respond to Raw Story’s request for comment.

Spike TV will air the first episode of “World’s Worst Tenants” on Tuesday, June 12.
So what next? Maybe we can send a camera crew into mental hospitals and film the patients having psychotic episodes and seizures. Won't that be great for a fucking laugh?

Bonus: "Kill your television"


  1. Bruce Springsteen did a great song awhile back called "57 channels and nothing on". In the video you see a TV being shot by a pistol. At this point sums up about how I feel about television in general. Great posting Bill. Your colums are dead on target. Thank-you.

    1. Thanks, def! I should have used that song. :)

  2. It's possible that the social downturn of a modern (technologically advanced) society could be definitively marked by the appearance of "reality TV" (or its equivalent). Here I'm not talking about your Survivors or American Gladiators. These are enormously stupid, but they are, at their core, simply stupid shows about silly competitions between largely morally and ethically vacuous people. Stupid, but not a great indicator.

    No, I'm talking about the genre of "reality" shows that seek to entertain the masses by highlighting other people's misfortunes or shortcomings. When these shows appear, and successfully gain market share, it's probably a rock-solid indicator of social decline. So, when you see "World’s Worst Tenants", you can pretty much put a fork in it, we're done.

    1. A timely comment in the wake of Richard Dawson having just died. How long before The Running Man goes from being a Stephen King novel/cheesy Ah-nold movie to being a real show?

  3. This show seems to be following a new trend in "reality" TV where they use actors to in an attempt to make the show look like a live action show in the same genera as COPS. Apparently real life isn't exciting enough anymore so they have had to resort to using actors and made up or embellished stories to ramp up the drama. It seems that the producers of these shows believe that the general public is too stupid to notice the difference, sadly they may be correct. Still though I hope people do see these kinds of shows for what they are and stop watching. I would be very happy if this show, and others like it failed due to low viewership.

  4. Scripted-ness [Sure it's a word; I say it is!] aside, this show and network try to put a cutesy face on class warfare. The day we have a show called "World's Worst Landlords," i'll change my opinion.