Every year thousands of normal people audition for a truckload of reality shows, all for the chance to martyr themselves in front of a national audience. And those who are chosen get their wish--every moral mistake and lapse in judgment is broadcast worldwide, and while their subsequent suffering may not carry the physical pain of being nailed to the cross… c'mon! Being featured on Access Hollywood comes pretty close!
This is why martyrs like Jesus and reality-show contestants have such universal appeal--and Mel Gibson has figured this out--because we LOVE to watch our heroes get an ass whippin'! Bearing that in mind, here are some brand-new shows debuting this week… all featuring the cruelest examples of physical and mental humiliation. YEAH!!!
• Damage Control (MTV, Sun March 6, 9:30 pm). MTV ups the humiliation ante on this new hidden-camera show hosted by Simple Plan lead vocalist, Pierre Bouvier. Each week, parents--who are in on the gag--are sent away for the weekend, leaving the teen alone at home to deal with a vast array of bizarre, outrageous events (crazy parties, murder victims, hookers, donkeys OD'ing on barbiturates, etc.). If the kid tries to stop the destruction, and then tells the parents what happened, he wins a bucket of cash! If he doesn't… well, military school happens to the best of us.
• Intervention (A&E, Sun March 6, 10 pm). Are you suffering from an addiction? Is your family really embarrassed about it? Would you like your private life to be splayed open on TV like a big trout with its guts cut out? Then you'll "love" Intervention! Actual drug/sex/gambling/eating/shoplifting/video-game addicts are dragged into an intervention with a professional moderator and weeping relatives who will berate the junkie into joining the status quo! And it's all for your viewing pleasure. (Jesus was a "proverb addict" from what I understand.)
• The Starlet (WB, Tues March 8, 9 pm). Okay, sadists--get happy! Here's the most painful show of the bunch! 10 aspiring actresses live together and compete for a guest-star slot on a WB show. All will be forced to attend "an intense Hollywood boot camp"--which I imagine will include lessons on how to properly ride in a limo, snort coke, and choose the correct producer to screw. Most horribly, they will have to perform scenes from really stupid WB shows in front of a panel of hard-ass Hollywood pros--including (gasp!) poor Faye Dunaway?! OMIGOD! This is more painful than watching Jesus getting the skin whipped off him in Passion of the Christ!