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Does This Reality Go Too Far?

My new favorite show, Intervention, is gaining popularity by the second. It's the show I can't wait to discuss with my friends the next day and even though the people depicted are troubled and in dire need of help, I'm fascinated each and every episode. Of course reality TV isn't anything new, but this documentary takes the reality to a whole other level. A recent article in The New York Times said it best: "Nothing on television matches its freaky calculus of exploitation and good will. Cameras follow the addicts as they shoot up, freebase, panhandle and score."

Though I feel a little voyeuristic watching these people inflicting such pain on themselves and their loved ones, knowing that the end of the hour will lead to a happy ending — out of 102 addicts profiled on the show, only two have declined treatment — makes me feel a whole lot less guilty. So if you're a fan like me, glued to the TV every Monday night, tell me, is Intervention taking reality TV too far or does it make you realize all that you have to appreciate in your own life?


Join The Conversation
campgirl84 campgirl84 8 years
i do watch and love "intervention" and would like to address a couple comments regarding the family members "reading scripts" to their troubled loved one during the actual intervention. my younger brother struggled with drugs a couple years ago and while we never had an intervention, so-to-speak, we did convince him to enter rehab. while i do wish the family members actually looked in the eyes of their addict 100% of the time when they say "i love you", unless you've been there, you don't have room to say anything about reading letters. they simply want to ensure they get there points/feelings across during a VERY emotional situation and not forget to leave anything out. it wasn't until i actually looked my brother in the eye to say "goodbye" and "i love you" that i broke down and began sobbing (as we left him at the rehab center). the other great thing about the show is that because it depicts several types of addict, it may bring a fresh perspective to the fact that these people do SUFFER from a DISEASE. plus, you may be able to notice signs and recognize an addict in your own lives.
Asia84 Asia84 8 years
not to discount the participants on the show, but i've seen and been through soo much worst. i don't think the majority of the viewers truly understand what's happening..they watch and say..oh if they go to treatment at the end, it will be great. there's more to recovery than shakin' and baking, and saying you will stop using. recovery never stops.
brutalcupcake brutalcupcake 8 years
I've yet to watch it.
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 8 years
addiction... its reality... people should learn to deal with that. i personally like the show.
Missy-Prissy Missy-Prissy 8 years
I watch it a lot. But not religiously. Allison was the saddest by far to me. Also watched a rerun recently with a cyclist who was on crack and once trained with Armstrong at some Olympic thing. That was harsh too. carak - I don't think its ridiculous that she huffed canned air. That stuff can really mess you up as we see in her episode.
carak carak 8 years
i HATE watching Intervention. i don't feel sorry for these people, only their families. the girl in the picture, Allison, was the best, though! and the only episode i watched all the way through! girl is addicted to huffing canned air. how ridiculous is that?
sldc sldc 8 years
Isn't this show a last resort for the participants? I found out about this show about a couple weeks ago from Jezebel. The comment section was interesting. I initially wanted to think this show was just exploitation (plus I hate the "reality" genre), but I think there may be some value in this sort of documentary.
HonestMuffin HonestMuffin 8 years
I totally watch this show! "it makes me feel lik im walkin on sunshine!"... this episode is so very sad. It makes me wonder how helpful rehab really is, or if it's just another business built to pray on the weak.
kendallina kendallina 8 years
I love Intervention. I think for most of the addicts on that show it is their last chance at getting help. I think it's more of a service to the addicts than an exploitation. These people volunteered for their drug use to be documented and the intervention that they don't know about is usually their saving grace.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
I won't watch it, I think that's a disgusting show idea. Let's make money off your addiction...YAY!!!
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 8 years
I do not watch it but do have to say "If I care about someone and want them to get better, I will look them right in the eye and say "i love you" - not read some flipping letter that I wrote." having known someone addicted and having heard of many stories, many family members have dealt with it for so long, that you can not always express how you feel at a moments notice.(ie either enabling or emotional blackmail, and lies from the addicted one leaving them at the end of their rope) they deal with fear they wont get help and knowing they may have to turn there back on them. is this scripted I do not know but I do know writing a letter is a standard thing when confronting someone in a intervention. so to me this does not prove it is scripted
annebreal annebreal 8 years
I've only watched like an episode and a half of this show, and I think that it's pretty exploitative. Also to Tidal Wave, I agree with jessica that the letter or writing notes isn't an uncommon tool at all, it's not just for TV. This helps you remember what you want to say and how you want to say it, instead of getting caught up in the moment during a very precarious time. I mean, if the intervention is truly a life-saving measure, wouldn't you want to be extremely careful and precise with what you say?
jessicaeden jessicaeden 8 years
I think its a fantastic show. It demonstrates that addiction not only affects the addict, but the family and friends as well. As for Tidal Wave's comments, the letter helps peopel stay focused during an obviously emotional time.
missyd missyd 8 years
I almost think its kind of warped and sick to be doing it on tv. Like hello public humiliation,. I know that it is supposed to be a shocker, but who in their mind lets a family member expose themselves on tv like that, much less support it. I saw the one with the chick in the picture a few nights ago and I ahd to turn it off. I was embarrassed FOR her. I think that someone (family wise or not) HAS to be making a buck off of this. And yeah, i did research and almost all of them do accept treatment,and almost all drop out within xx amount of months. I think it's wrong to exploit someone like that
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
Ive been watching Intervention since it first started. I like the show because its not just about following these addicts, its about helping them - which happens for a hand full of them.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I can't stand shows that are obviously scripted! I mean, come on! They are reading directly from a script!! Right in front of you!! Do you seriously believe that these people care so much about their family member that they have to read a letter expressing their own emotions?!!! If I care about someone and want them to get better, I will look them right in the eye and say "i love you" - not read some flipping letter that I wrote. Seriously! It is insulting to watch people reading their lines on camera!!
zabrow zabrow 8 years
i love this show too!! i definitely think it gives families options for treatment that might not be available without the funding from the show.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I totally watch it. It reminds me of what a great life I have!
melaniestylereflection melaniestylereflection 8 years
it makes me appreciate myself as a person and my body. and it also makes me appreciate my family and how they will always be there for me. Some of those peoples families don't even care about their own child its so sad. I love that show and I wish I could have that power of healing addicts and make them realize how much life they have.
HelloAnia HelloAnia 8 years
To be fair MOSTLY ALL people on Intervention relapse and drop out of treatment...
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
It actually makes me appreciate my life. I'm very blessed.
wambalus wambalus 8 years
I am totally addicted to the show ... I find it fascinating to see the underlying issues behind the addiction addressed as well.
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