June 30, 2004
I like mean reality TV shows. When I was in college, I loved the show ‘Change of Heart’. It featured a couple coming on the show to test their relationship by going on dates with other people. Great idea, right? At the end of the show, each gets to decide whether they want to stay together or whether they’ve had a change of heart. Brutal. People would start crying when their partner had the change of heart while they wanted to stay together. I loved it.
I also really enjoyed ‘Paradise Island’. It had a similar theme. Couples would come on the show and be put on separate island with tons of attractive members of the opposite sex. They would then go on dates with other people and snippets of the date would be shown to their significant other. Of course, the snippets would be the worst, most misleading bits of the date and their partner would often get mad enough to get busy with their own date (and then the video would be shown to the other partner, leading to a vicious, vicious cycle).
But, on my first night in Georgia, I saw the meanest show ever. It’s called Cheaters and it goes like this: a woman suspects her husband/boyfriend is cheating on her. She calls the show and they do a stakeout to confirm or ease her worries. The two segments I saw both had the men actually cheating. The show sets it up so that the women catch the men in the act (in the second case, the man was in bed with the other woman in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend). Insanity ensues. The first one was crushed, hysterically sobbing. The second woman is angry and punching her boyfriend and the broad in her bed. The camera people and staff are all there for the confrontation. It’s so funny. The man in the bed started yelling at the host ‘how you gonna sell out a fellow man like that, how you gonna come to my crib and set me up like this’. The show is a cross between Jerry Springer and Oprah because the host tries to talk to the cheatee and tell her how much better off she’ll be without the guy and he actually provides security for the second girl because he is afraid her boyfriend will return that night. It’s not just women calling the show either. They showed an update on a previous show in which a man catches his girlfriend cheating. It was hilarious/horrifying. I hope the show expands to other markets because you guys have got to see this.