Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Show: Smile...You're Under Arrest

Episodes: Two 22 minute episodes (current episodes will be posted after they air)
Clips: None
Studio: Fox Reality
Rank: D

Way to keep it classy, Fox!

I could see how the concept sounds good on paper. Fugitives from the law are lured to a sting operation under false pretenses (such as they've won money in a lottery). At some point, the charade is dropped, and they get busted for their crimes by police officers who are standing by.

But the truth is, in practice, the whole thing comes off as mean-spirited. I get that the individuals are criminals and all that, but their crimes seem remote, and the act of being duped humanizes them.

In Cops, to which the show is drawing inevitable comparisons, the criminals are being caught in the act. Also, the officers are generally polite, at least in front of the cameras. It's easy to cheer for the apprehension of a drunk driver or a hit and run perpetrator.

Here, the cops and a group of non-cop actors have gone to great lengths to make the criminals look like complete jackasses. They are dressed up in cartoonish striped criminal costumes and made to tell the cameras that they've been busted by Fox Reality. Then, when they're told they're under arrest,everyone claps and laughs at them. They're even told to smile just before the big reveal, so that they're caught with a goofy look on their faces.

Some people will say that any criminal deserves anything he or she gets. They've all done something illegal that they have to pay for. But the truth is, most or all of these people are non-violent offenders, and it's even possible that their warrants were issued for something slight, such as a driving offense or failing to complete all of their community service hours for a prior offense within the required time period. The point is, there's a punishment in the law books for the crimes that have been committed, and being humiliated on national television doesn't enter into the equation.

No one is as helpless as a criminal in a room full of deputies, and the whole thing smacks of kicking someone when they're down. Boo for Fox, and their nasty little show!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Anonymous said...

What? how is a DUI small? Smoking pot small? theres no doubt that drinking and smoking while driving impairs judgment. Because of that they were arrested and then decided to blow off their court date. That is a clear indication that they dont care. Are we supposed to wait for them to kill someone? Yeah embarrass them. Make sure they never do it again. Toom mean??? Tell that to the parents of a child who was killed by a drunk driver or weed smoker. Hopefully this is th ewake up call.

Anonymous said...

Boo to you. I am unclear as to how this is mean spirited. If I recall correctly some of these felons were repeat offenders. Some of them were dead beat dads, credit card fraud, stealing cars. Did you even watch the show?