Sunday, November 7, 2010

Downsized: A New WE TV Reality Show

I watched Downsized, a new television show chronicling the life of a family who went from super rich to having trouble paying the rent.

I hate to admit this, but the show was interesting. The show brings us into the life of Todd and Laura, a couple who collectively have seven kids, five of which are Laura's, and two of which are Todd's. The family had a ton of money, and then Todd's contacting business failed, leaving the family to exist on a teacher's salary.

The show is interesting because you get to watch the family dynamic. The show portrays a tough lifestyle, but a positive family of several teenagers. You see two step-siblings with different backgrounds in the blended family interact. For example, Heather, 17, got a car from her biological grandmother, whereas Bailey, 16, did not get that same opportunity because she did not share Heather's biological grandparents.

Some of the scenes seemed a bit fake. For example, Bailey is sent to the store, and finds out that there are only $2 on the food stamp card. That seemed real - and awful. However, mom Laura's reaction seemed so insincere. "I apologize, Bailey, that must have been embarrassing." She spoke without emotion.

I also had issue with a few other things:

- If Todd's kids mom's family has so much money, why aren't they living with them? Why are their parents buying them clothes and luxuries, but not money for food? If there's so much money there, why are Todd's kids struggling?

- Why do Todd and Laura still have their wedding rings and designer jewelry? I saw Laura saying that she sold everything that she can, but I saw her with a giant diamond and Chanel earrings.

- With at least five kids ages 15 or older, why don't the kids get jobs? Honestly, I don't think kids should have to support their parents, but if the kids can't afford their own food, wouldn't it be helpful to buy their own? If each child worked at a restaurant or grocery store and could get discounted food, wouldn't that be helpful? Or at least buy their own food so Todd and Laura could focus on supporting the non-working kids and themselves?

These discrepancies may occur because WE TV wants the show to be more dramatic. For example, the family 'comes together' in later episodes and works their way back to stability. I guess if they were a normal, working class family now there would be nothing to work towards.

In any case, the concept of this show makes me feel awful, in a sense, because there are so many families struggling, and it seems like a somewhat inappropriate concept. However, I think it is good that WE TV is helping this family recover, as I'm sure they're about to make a nice paycheck for appearing on this television show.

No comments: