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COLUMN

The Island Of Dr. Ruth

Jyoti Tibrewala

Here comes yet another mindless game show to litter our airwaves.

They call this one “Temptation Island,” and it comes from the Fox network. The show sends four unmarried couples to a tropical island where a group of young singles awaits its chance to seduce the couples. Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

The first time I saw the commercial for “Temptation Island,” I asked myself, “Who would actually do this? What kind of person would be willing to test their relationship like this?” But then, there’s also the other point of view. By participating, you’re saying that your relationship is so strong that nothing can tear it apart. This is the premise of the entire show: testing the strength of a bond between two people. Whatever happened to human relationships being personal?

Last time I checked, any bond between two people was sacred and something that neither person should take for granted. People who would summarily decide to put themselves in a situation with the potential to destroy everything that is special should be ashamed of themselves.

Admittedly, it seems noble to put so much faith in a bond, but it’s also somewhat foolish. As an added bonus, the couples will go on dates with the three singles who best reflect their ideal mate. You’re only human. What makes you think you can resist the temptation?

And call me old-fashioned, but aren’t we all constantly seeking privacy? How do we expect to keep the details of our lives and relationships private if we’re busy parading those relationships on national television? One can only hope that the privacy factor is one that was not considered, rather than one that was disregarded. It might seem glamorous at first to have your life featured on television, but in the end, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Does the phrase “too good to be true” sound familiar?

Another group that should be embarrassed is the portion of the public that would watch the show. Unfortunately, the number of people who would watch the show is probably larger than the number who realize how wrong this idea is. This isn’t some fictional soap opera; these are real people in real relationships. Although the participants themselves volunteered for this, people who watch this show will be promoting such programs. Watching such shows will get ratings for the networks which in turn will be encouraged to put out similar garbage in the future. And they only require minimal encouragement. Given the outcome of their last reality show, “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?”, we can’t take that risk.

That isn’t to exclude the network itself. That goes without saying. It is not considered entertainment to watch people try to ruin other people’s lives. But even though the premise of “Temptation Island” is flawed, it could have been put to better use. Fox might have received less criticism if they had used this same plot for, say, a soap opera; or anything fictional, for that matter. In that case, the reduced censure would be due to the fact that the plot would be substantially subtler. A fictional version of “Temptation Island” might have a bigger audience.

“Temptation Island” airs tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox. Do a good deed for society and don’t watch it. That is, unless you’re looking forward to still more reality programs in the future.