The Springer Hustle confirms what most people had figured out anyway. VH1’s new series shows the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that go into making “the worst show in television history” (as Springer rather proudly refers to his talk-cum-freak show.)
Backstage we are introduced to high octane, nakedly ambitious and competitive producers charged with scraping the bottom of the barrel to find the folks who come onto the Jerry Springer Show to air their dirty laundry (and to wrestle with each other and throw chairs and all other kinds of like-minded things.)
The producers fairly browbeat the guests into agreeing to come to Chicago to appear on the show and then do their best to rile them up into a frothing frenzy before they hit the stage (up to and including giving them lines to scream at each other for the enjoyment of the studio audience and the television viewers.) (One would hope that the guests could see how much they are embarrassing themselves by agreeing to go nuts on a nationally televised show while revealing intimate details of their private lives for all the world to see but, apparently, that doesn’t occur to most of them.)
It’s all rather horrifying…and at the same time, admittedly, strangely fascinating.
I am not ashamed to admit that I went through a Springer period…I haven’t watched the show in years but for a brief period I watched it on a daily basis…and so while I probably won't be watching Hustle on a regular basis I find these proceedings kind of interesting.
I’m not sure what The Jerry Springer Show…and The Springer Hustle…says about American television viewers (ratings for the main show are down but it’s still hanging in there) but it’s probably nothing good. On the other hand, it’s just a TV show…easily ignored if one doesn’t care for the low-rent circus it presents…Western civilization may fall one day but I don’t really think we’ll be able to point to Jerry Springer and/or reality TV as the cause. (Though this last point is not helped by the fact that VH1 sandwiched the debut of Hustle between the premiere of Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School and a re-broadcast of the I Love New York reunion show...)
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More MKW blogstuff: Bread and Roses