A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show is extremely raw, and shows addicts getting drunk and high in close-up detail. Viewers see needles inserted into arms, copious amounts of alcohol consumed, and tricks addicts use to acquire drugs and alcohol (like unscrewing a locked refrigerator door). There's also a lot of anger flying around within the families of addicts. Warnings appear at each commercial break about the graphic nature of the show.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Kristina Wandzilak, herself a recovering addict, is now a family interventionist trying to help addicts give up their drugs of choice and re-build their lives on this reality show about ADDICTION. The show features a different addict each episode, with graphic footage of the addict getting drunk and/or high. Wandzilak does her intervention and walks the addict through the first phases of treatment. She also talks with the addict's family, helping them to see where their behavior contributes to the addict's problems.
Is it any good?
It's hard to say if it's the simple rawness of the show that is off-putting or the fact that there are so many other similar shows out there. If anything, one feels de-sensitized to the pain of the addict and the families. Sure, it's sad, but it doesn't hit home. For viewers with addiction in their families, the show could serve as a reminder of the pain and consequences of an addict's behavior and possibly encourage addicts to get help. That said, there is some simplification of the recovery process, as one would expect in a reality television show.
The execution is competent and the storytelling interesting, if voyeuristic. Viewers can judge for themselves if they think the addicts featured on the show are competent enough to make the decision to air their troubles on reality television -- a decision that will live on in perpetuity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how real the show is. Parents can ask their children if they think they're seeing the whole story and what might have been left out.
Is this show exploitive or voyeuristic? Parents can ask their children if they think the people on the show seem to really want to beat their problems or are they just lnterested on being on TV?
Do shows like this encourage people to get help for their addictions? Is this a healthy way to encourage people to get help?