'The Briefcase' Takes Reality TV to a Whole New Low (VIDEO)

the briefcase

Reality shows are known for exploiting the unfortunate, unusual and/or unsuspecting, but new CBS series The Briefcase takes the manipulative medium to a whole new low: Struggling families are offered $101,000 and the choice to either keep the money or give some or all of it to another needy family. 


It's a sick, twisted premise based on using poor people's hardships as entertainment -- is this the freaking real life Hunger Games?! After families are forced to explain the sordid, sad particulars of their financial situations so viewers can theoretically gloat from the comforts of their well-appointed homes, they're offered the money. Believing that their worries are over, the families jump and scream and cry from sweet, sweet relief ... only to be then given that gut-wrenching choice to help another poor family. (They're also given details about the other family, to make them feel even worse about keeping all the money for themselves.) 

Check out the trailer:

I'd say The Briefcase has got to be the single most offensive idea for a reality show yet -- and that's saying a lot. Hadn't we evolved past the point of poverty-as-entertainment? This isn't 1956, when the game show Queen for a Day made beleaguered housewives "queens" by gifting them with washing machines.

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It's also worth noting that CBS chief Les Moonves made over $54 million in 2014, which means he made more in a day than the entire amount each family competes for. Let's hope this show gets yanked off the air along in the tradition of 19 Kids and Counting and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

What do you think of The Briefcase?

Image via YouTube

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