TV: The doctor is in

By Nicholas Austin / Staff Writer

To be fit or not to be- Shar Jackson, Bobby Brown and other D-list celebrities star in a reality show aimed to improve their physiques. (VH1 Press)

By Nicholas Austin / Staff Writer

Reality television has accomplished many things in the past decade.

It has shown viewers that “The Flavor of Love” is not always so sweet.Celebrities are participants on shows such as Celebrity Fit Club to lose weight.

It gave Elisabeth Hasselbeck an awful lucky chance for a seat on “The View” as well as show America the true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, to find out what happens, when people stop being polite and start getting real.

But after all this we need to ask ourselves, are reality shows like “Intervention,” “The Biggest Loser” and Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab there to inspire positive behavior in the viewers or are they primarily there for entertainment value?

To answer this question we have to understand that many Americans watch these shows purely because it is not their own lives they’re watching.

To some, the experiences of others are enough to take them away from their own existence.

But on the same hand, there are some who take away from the show exactly what it was designed to do, help us help ourselves.

In a time when more Americans than ever are overeating, are alcoholics, or drug abusers, shows that help teach us to eat better, exercise and stay clean are becoming a necessity.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” is the most watched weight loss program on prime time television, and for good reason.

The show’s main dynamic, beyond the original contest for the lucky few, is to teach the other millions of viewers at home everything that the contestants get to experience.

Thus, helping more than the show could have originally expected to help.

This new format of reality shows helped spur similar ideas eventually leading to shows like “Intervention,” which focuses on the life, the addiction and the inevitable intervention of one usually desperate and deserving person.

It is very important for Americans who need help to know that it is very accessible.

The reality television that many of us see as a waste of time might just be a valuable tool for our society, it’s free help if someone wants it.

Now, I know watching Gary Busey make a fool out of himself on “Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab” isn’t necessarily what you would call inspirational programming.

However, the advice and ethics that Dr. Drew provides are more than enough to help people help themselves or others they care about.

The only downfall of putting personal interventions on television for all to see is the fact that this show’s primary audience will already be in too far in denial to watch.

With addiction comes denial, and that’s more than enough for any substance abuser to have the attitude that everyone they see on the show is much worse off then them.

What the producers of intervention shows really look for are concerned loved ones to gain insight from these powerful reality series.

Food, alcohol and drugs are Americans’ worst three habits and the celebrities we love to see at their worst are now being treated on television for all to see.

It’s the viewer’s choice if they want to turn on the television for a laugh at Rodney King or seek inspiration from it.