The Moment of Truth
returns to FOX tonight for the premiere of its second season. The controversial reality show has drawn the ire of critics and reasonable humans since its first season debuted at mid-season for FOX, but this was not a deterrent for audiences. The Moment of Truth
, which has contestants hooked up to a lie detector as they answer a series of increasingly personal questions for an escalating amount of prize money, was the highest rated new series of the 2007-2008 television season. This likely had more to do with its initial pairing with TV juggernaut American Idol
than the quality of the series itself, but it is impressive (depressing?) nonetheless. The second season premieres at 8pm tonight.
The Moment of Truth
is the nadir of America's now decade-long reality television obsession. Shameless and pointless reality fare like A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, Paradise Island, Keeping Up with the Kardashians
, etc. can at least be ingested as light-hearted camp by viewers. Nothing is lost by watching these shows (except, perhaps, precious brain cells and time that could be spent, I don't know, reading a book). However, The Moment of Truth
is serious in its exploitation. Contestants cripple relationships with family members and loved ones. They openly (or inadvertently) admit to things better kept inside their homes or inside their own heads. The Moment of Truth
, if anything, is proof that people really will sell their souls for hard cash.
It is the schadenfreude that brings the viewers, one must suspect. It's not the pacing (Truth
moves slower than an American Idol
results show) or the contestants (it's hard to like people who so easily torment innocent family members on national TV). The Moment of Truth
is a game-show version of Jerry Springer or Maury Povich, only if those talk shows gave their guests zero respect. At least on Springer and Maury, there are attempts to resolve issues. On The Moment of Truth
, the sole purpose is to get these whorish contestants to admit to truths that will destroy relationships. This, apparently, makes for good TV. I watched the very first episode of The Moment of Truth
, and have not gone back since. It was all that I could reasonably stomach, though the fact that it became popular and is back for a second season has made me as squeamish as seeing a wife admitting to cheating on her husband.
If it's your thing, watch the second season premiere of The Moment of Truth
on FOX at 8pm tonight.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)