A&E's Intervention Show Causes Stir - The News Junkie
The News Junkie: A&E's Intervention Show Causes Stir

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Monday, June 16, 2008

A&E's Intervention Show Causes Stir

Here's The Trailer For A&E's 'Intervention' Season Five:

In the real world, there is no such thing as a typical addict. Never forget there's a story behind each person falling prey to the demon rum or drugs or any other of the known vices. Once the benders blur together and substance abuse takes over someone's life, the addiction becomes a social problem - lives are ruined and families are broken. Some lost souls never make it back to the other side.

But some make the effort, thereby providing the almost too-real human drama of Intervention (Monday, A&E at 9 p.m.). Back for a fifth season, the sobering documentary series follows the lives of people caught in the deepest throes of their addiction, and the attempts of those around them to put them on the road to recovery.

The addicts profiled on Intervention enter into the reality-TV experience under the semi-misconception they're taking part in a documentary on addiction. In most cases they're unaware their family and friends have planned an intervention, which is to be followed by either a trip to a treatment centre or immediate tough-love ejection from the family circle. For most of the addicts, it's their last chance.

The painful reality of addiction comes clear with Intervention's precise biographies of the addicts. Starting in 2005, the show's first four seasons have taken viewers into some very troubled lives - the ex-Olympic athlete who turned to methamphetamine, the alcoholic banker with a Fight Club fetish, the bulimic housewife who keeps a secret throw-up bag in the closet, and the former NBA superstar reduced to crackhead status. Watching real people unravel often makes for uncomfortable viewing.

There's been a lot of talk about the fine line between 'reality show' and exploitation, severe exploitation in this case, when it comes to this show and I think it's warranted. A&E is making a ton of dough off ad revenues as these people, and their families, crumble. There have been episode where alcoholics take to the wheel so inebriated that they can barely stand, let alone drive. The producers and camera crew do absolutely nothing to stop them. In fact, it could be argued that the cameras cause these people to go father than they would under normal circumstances. And what if someone is injured or dies as a result of an alcoholic's joyride. I can't lie, I'll be watching but I'm really torn over whether or not they should be so cavalier about it.


Anonymous said...

I love this show, there is something strangely entertaining about just how far these people have fallen off. I suspect that without the cameras there would be no help.

David said...

I see nothing cavalier in the A&E attitude. You can argue that without the camera perhaps the addicts wouldn't act-out as severely. But really, how do you know? Perhaps they are acting out less severely. The truth is that for one documentation of what one addict does there are thousands doing the same thing without anyone reflecting on it. // Sticking you head in the sand and saying it's better to ignore the reality doesn't make it goe away. // Compare to the same controversy at www.abortionno.org