Butt Out

I think I can say I'm a fan of reality shows, including some of A&E's fare, such as Airline, Caesars 24/7, Growing Up Gotti, and even, on a rainy Saturday, Lord help me, Sell This House. These shows are often funny, sometimes informative, usually entertaining glimpses into the lives of our fellow travellers.

But if you are watching A&E's new show "Intervention", then I am seriously hoping that you are one of the following:

a) an awkward adolescent who feels that no one understands you;
b) a college psych major, or
c) a member of Al-Anon.

This show is the equivalent of pulling up a chair in the E.R. waiting room on a Saturday night to see what's going on. It's like inviting that grating friend who's always borrowing money to go on vacation with you and your family. It's a false religion, the worship of melodrama; it's wallowing in the deepest pits of human hell with people who lack critical survival instincts, and their families and friends who are desperate to save them from themselves. It's no place you want to go unless you absolutely have to - because it happens to you.

If you are watching this show, then I am very, very worried about you. I think that you should turn off the T.V., call some friends, and go drink 7 or 8 beers in a rowdy Irish bar. Or rent "Bambi", cry your eyes out when the mother gets shot, and get it overwith. Or turn the channel to "America's Funniest Home Videos." It's better you should try to connect with your fellow humans by watching them fall out of boats, faint during weddings, and ride their sleds into trees.

You shouldn't be inviting meth and crack addicts into your living room so that you can sit through their awful, horrible, stressful, doomed lives, and grieve along with their families. That's simply not required of you. Don't let this show make you feel like it is. Just because it's on TV and it's somebody's life doesn't mean that you need to become fully informed and engrossed by it. Let's at least try to learn something from the Terri Schiavo circus.

No, I've never watched "Intervention." I never will. Sitting through the commercials introduces more human suffering into my day than I believe is called for.

You have to draw the line somewhere.

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