5 Depressing Realities Behind Popular Reality TV Shows

At Cracked. The saddest one was that so many people on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wind up losing their new homes:

One family, which had a new home specifically designed to help their developmentally challenged son, was forced to put the house on the market after just a little over a year because they simply couldn’t afford what it cost in both time and money to maintain a palatial four-bedroom estate while trying to raise three children, one of whom has special needs. That’s like Santa Claus bringing a lonely kid an awesome robot friend who, by the way, must be fueled by human blood.

Another couple fell behind on the $405,000 loan they had to take out just to keep their utilities connected in the million-dollar mansion built for them by the show (which inexplicably included a carousel and a movie theater, because those are things that a young husband and wife need to turn their luck around) and were forced to sell the house and auction off most of its contents.

I guess that’s why Habitat for Humanity doesn’t put carousels and movie theaters in the homes they build.

Another depressing reality: most of the restaurants on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares go out of business. I find that a little sad. I don’t like seeing small businesses fail. Then again, it’s hard to feel too sad about a cockroach-infested restaurant going under.

P.S. I always wondered about whether the publicity really helped the businesses. If I find out that a restaurant had cockroaches and dead rats in the kitchen I wouldn’t eat there even after they cleaned it up. If they let it get that bad once, they’ll do it again.

One Response to 5 Depressing Realities Behind Popular Reality TV Shows

  1. Kevin Baker says:

    I feel the same way about “Bar Rescue” – I’m amazed most of those places haven’t killed someone from food poisoning, given the condition of their kitchens when the show starts.

    One show I’m interested in the economics of is Mike Holmes’ Holmes Inspection (and its previous iterations) where Mike and his crew repair – sometimes to the point of complete reconstruction – problems not found by home inspectors prior to purchase. Now, almost all of these occur in Canada, and I’m unfamiliar with their tax laws up there, but if someone comes in and does $70k worth of repairs/upgrades on your home in Canada, is that not considered “income”? It is here. What effect does this have on the homeowners?