Painting ONLY the Rosey Picture
I was watching the semi-finals of Dancing with the Stars last night. I don't really care much for the show anymore, but my wife still loves it. Since I love her, we watched it. Besides there isn't much better on television anyway. One of the perks of watching the 'big' finale shows, is that the network will sneak in previews of their next big show (oww whoo...the next Bachelor is an Airline Pilot!) or they will follow the finale up with some new show that they want the audience to latch on to. Such was the case last night, when the premiere episode of "Find My Family" came on after 'Dancing With The Stars'.
Now from the get-go, I had grave doubts about this whole concept. Given my generalized contempt for the media, I watched the show just to see if my suspicions were correct. Needless to say, I walked out of the room after the first 15 minutes.
If you haven't caught a glimpse of this show, here is the premise. They find a parent that has lost a child due to adoption, or vice versa, an adopted child that is searching for their birth parent. They do the obligatory background stories on each, then reunite them under a big 'tree' in the middle of nowhere (Family ..... Tree .... get it?). There are hugs and kisses all around and the emotion just oozes out of their glands as the multiple cameras, some mounted high up IN the tree and some being held by the teams of steady-cam operators capture every good tear soaked second.
My first thought was, who is the idiot network CEO that green-lighted this concept? The target audience is going to be limited. Namely adopted children or original birth parents. Granted, there appears to be a huge segment of the American population that will watch ANYTHING that ends in crying and group hugs, but is this really the demographic you want to push Chevys and Viagra too?
Then there is the 3000lb gorilla in the room. My job entails working with a lot of children in foster care. A majority of these children will be severed from their birth parents and put up for adoption by the state. Why? Well, mostly because the birth mothers are crack whores and they would rather turn tricks to buy more meth than buy baby food for the bouncing bundle of joy that was an 'accident'. Trust me little adopted boy or girl, you DON'T want to find your birth parents. There is a good chance they are incarcerated or they died in a drug house knife fight. But for some reason, I don't think these story lines will make it onto "Find My Family". This is a hugs and tears show, not a "we found your mother's grave, she died from a heroin overdose 3 years after giving birth to you" show.
This is another in a long line of network television reality shows designed to 'manufacture' drama and emotion and play to a basic emotional need in the under-educated populace that only knows how to operate a remote control and not much else. My general faith in the intelligence level of the American public will raise or fall depending on how long this show lasts on the air. I am guessing it won't last the entire season. If it gets renewed for a second season.......I am moving to Canada.