February 15, 2009

Is "Sober House" Stupid, Ironic or Just Cruel?

Clearly we are naive and have yet to get hip to the logic of contemporary reality TV, because our first reaction to VH1's vicious-cycle-recovery-relapse-extravaganza took on an element of smug superiority: "Obviously this environment will lead them to a relapse with the pressure of the cameras, etc..." We will not arrogantly presume to be smarter then the big-wigs who created "Sober House-" just more humane and decent, apparently.
Justify Full

The individuals responsible for this travesty must know that the putative clean living facility they've created for our viewing pleasure includes all the ingredients of an adult Lord of The Flies. We can't help but applaud the brilliance in devising a way to televise the ordeals of celebrities with substance abuse issues that garner so much attention. Accomplishing this, however, requires putting vulnerable individuals in need of genuine help and support under what amounts to the magnifying class of individuals playing God by sadistically incinerating insects. We would expect this indifference to human suffering from soulless TV executives, but Dr. Drew, who supposedly took an oath to do no harm, has earned himself a special place in Hell for his part in this modern-day equivalent of a Roman Coliseum.To continue the coliseum metaphor, David Douchetraub serves the same purpose as a lion sent to devour hapless Christians. He is a big, dumb animal whose arrogance, egoism, and generally obnoxious behavior inflicts psychological carnage on the show's participants at a vastly faster rate than they would inflict it on each other- their various destructive instincts restrained by basic human decency and the delusion that anyone expects-or even wants- "Sober House" to resemble its bullshit title.