The evolution of VH1 from "adult contemporary music channel" to "a network that finds it acceptable to air a program called 'I Love Money' " was slow and soul-crushingly inevitable enough that it wasn't exactly surprising.
But A&E? Didn't that, at some point, stand for "Arts and Entertainment"? Didn't they used to run a bunch of "Biography" episodes, and in the afternoons offer repeats of "Newsradio" and "Night Court"?
I used to make sure to get home from classes in college so I could catch some "Newsradio" at lunchtime. It was...comforting.
This past weekend, I watched A&E and saw a show called "Intervention," wherein a knock-off Dr. Phil coaches a family on confronting their addict to get help. It was depressing, to put it mildly (not least of which because the guy DIED - way to go, Dr. Faux-Phil).
During the commercial breaks, I got to see a preview for "The Two Coreys." The show that asks viewers to give a shit about two self-absorbed, borderline delusional recovering addicts who for a brief period were also teen actors.
Most heavily promoted was "The Cleaner," the network's new scripted drama, starring Benjamin Bratt as, from what I could understand, leader of an A-Team of addiction counselors.
At what point did A&E come to stand for, as Tad puts it, "Addicts and Ex-Addicts"? And more importantly...is there really a huge market for this? VH1's freak-show mentality I get, but where is the real audience reward for watching a cancer-riddled fall-down drunk refuse treatment and die?
I hope it's not schaedenfraude (and no, I'm not spell-checking that, you know what I mean), but are we supposed to learn from them, or what?