Would You Ruin Your Marriage for Half a Million Dollars?

by Lindsay McAuliffe 

As I’m sure many of you have seen, Fox has come out with a new show that involves strapping daring (dumb) individuals to a lie detector and asking them invasive, controversial, personal questions, many of which have the very real potential to ruin lives. Commercials for the show include a daughter, with her father standing by, being asked if she would give up her kidney to save her father if he were dying; then flash to a very overweight woman asking a skinny man if fat people disgust him; and next, my personal favorite, the host asking a man if he would cheat on his wife if he knew he would not get caught. The commercials show anxious, distraught, and downright enraged family members and friends, horrified at the lie-detector induced responses of their loved ones.

With the writer’s strike stretching on into oblivion, it can only be expected that trashy reality TV will inundate network television. The incredible degree of trashiness, however, has taken even me, the most cynical of  TV viewers, by surprise. What has become of American values that we are willing to sacrifice our most important relationships for money? Have none of these contestants heard that money doesn’t buy happiness? Clearly, the incredible emphasis placed on materialism that is so quintessentially American has reached the point where we would rather have half a million dollars (not even, after taxes) than fulfillment through something so trivial and unimportant as ‘interpersonal relationships’. Who needs friends and family when you’ve got five hundred thousand dollars? Ebeneezer Scrooge, that’s who. And he probably had way more money that that.

As despicable and disturbing as the concept of this show is, it is almost guaranteed to get great ratings. We have turned into a ‘too much information’ society, and this show’s premise of full disclosure, no matter how shocking, humiliating, or offensive, is sure to draw a crowd. It’s like every other dorm room drinking game, except these people are full grown adults (and therefore should have outgrown this embarassing propensity) and there’s a lie detector strapped to your body to ensure you absolutely can’t weasel your way out of an embarassing, awkward question.

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3 responses to “Would You Ruin Your Marriage for Half a Million Dollars?

  1. Maybe they should only let people who really need the 500,000 bucks on this show. Then it would make more sense because they need the money. But 500,00o dollars is a drop in the bucket for a former NFL player, such as the contestant from the first show.

    I completely agree with your sentiments on this issue and cannot believe that they would allow this show to run. It is unethical. This show will cause more divorces and other negative consequences – something that society does not need. Family values are on the decline, and this show only adds to society’s problems.

    I completely agree with

  2. Since when is Fox the arbiter of family difficulties and morality? Amoral television networks don’t have to play the role of babysitter for people that are stupid enough to come to them. If anyone is to blame it’s people dumb enough to get on this show and ruin themselves.

  3. Yes, I think it is the people who are dumb enough to go on this show that should be blamed for their own moral downfall. Fox is providing crappy television, and the American public is buying into it by both going on the show and watching it. My point was pretty much that America has reached a sad state of moral weakness when people will risk everythingfor money.

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