How Not to Remain Friends After the Break-Up - Broadcasting & Cable

How Not to Remain Friends After the Break-Up

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The inaugural segment of Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty on Oxygen presented a common situation: a couple lives on opposite coasts, long-distance dating isn't working out, and she–the dumper–wants to end the relationship but still be friends.

Normalcy was then thrown right out the window, as the dumper explained to Doherty exactly why she thought going on the show would be a great idea. In order to remain friends, she wanted to make "it" fun for him–"it" being the breakup.

Yes, folks, we have come full-circle on the reality TV rollercoaster. Otherwise rational citizens will vie for the chance to get married on TV, have their homes rendered unrecognizable to them on TV, and now, for the ultimate in reality TV fun–get dumped on TV! Trust me, hon, we'll laugh about this over a pitcher and some wings at Hooters next week, I promise. You'll love it!

Doherty, to her credit, didn't seem to think that the dumpee would find this whole experience much fun. She gave well-thought out advice to the dumpers and to the dumpees she didn't actively dislike. Those she chose to antagonize were subjected to the patronizing, holier-than-though attitude we've seen from Ms. Doherty many times before. And she looked good doing it–I know this because the producers made sure to cut to the lines where the dumpees tell her so, even as she was cutting them to shreds.

There may have been some concern that viewers would be put off by the idea of a televised dumping being fun, and so it was made known to the audience through the teasers that the dumpee was already having his fun on the side. Whether or not the break up was deemed fun no longer mattered, as viewers were set up to dislike the dumpee, allowing Ms. Doherty to grill the guy with impunity. 

And so the carnival that is Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty has opened for business.

By Guest Blogger Liz McKeon

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