Monday, January 16, 2006

"Miracle Workers"

Coming soon: A Reality Show about "seriously ill people who lack the contacts or the money for treatment." Felicia Lee, NYT:
The very name embodies both show-business hyperbole and a country in thrall to feel-good entertainment and the possibilities of transformation...ABC will pick up the bill, allowing a regularly featured team of doctors and nurses to steer people to the latest medical breakthroughs as cameras capture the travails of patient-hood, from consultations to surgery to recovery...

Robert Kubey, director of the Center for Media Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., said the popularity of the softer side of reality programs was proof that in a country rubbed raw by terrorism, war, natural disasters and other bad news, "there's this yearning for community, for positive endings."

But house building is one thing; brain surgery is another, ratcheting up the reality-television stakes. Although Mr. Kubey applauded "Miracle Workers" for providing medical information, he said one critique of such shows is that they allow viewers to evade pointed questions about the fates of those without angels to provide housing or medical care. He called it a "false consciousness" that things are being taken care of...


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