Mr Showdriver, Reduce that Pathos!


I generally like ABC's EM: Home Edition, the reality show that tears down houses and rebuilds shattered lives. But it is treading too close to the line between heartwarming helper and voyeuristic exploiter.

Last night's episode featured a woman with six children whose husband had died while renovating a small famrhouse house they had bought. The show established that fact immediately, pointing out he had died in her arms and that, ironically, it was a deadly mold from the house that killed him.

The problem was that the show hammered home that horror two or three times, recounting it, asking the mother to relive it  for the cameras, and seeming to push for the tears to make sure our heartstrings were sufficiently tugged. It was unnessary–once should have been enough for the most inaccessible heartstrings–and came across as "weep for me" unseemly, at least to me and my wife. More so to me, though, as I hollered at the TV (yes, I do that).

My guess is that the producers aren't intentionally trying to push our buttons, but I am clearly giving them the benefit of the doubt here.

This is an entertaining show, but it needs to dwell a little less on on the terrible plights that earn these families their new dwellings.