is A&E’s Intervention exploitative?

is A&E’s Intervention exploitative?
A&E’s newest reality series, Intervention, which kicked off earlier this month, focuses on two people in need of help each Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET. The episode titles give us all we need to know; Sunday’s episode was titled “Jerrie (Vicodin) & Tamela (self-destruction),” and next Sunday’s ep is “Alissa (gambling) and Brian (crystal meth).”

While any show that involves crystal meth is certainly worthy of attention, Salon’s Heather Havrilesky looks at the “scathing reviews and accusations of exploitation” that the show has received. She finds that the series “is extremely engrossing, emotionally wrenching and impossible not to take to heart.” She ultimately concludes that “”Whether ‘Intervention’ was born of a pure heart or a crass desire to capitalize on the lowest moments of others hardly matters to me. What matters is that, in this time of excess and overindulgence and the deification of partying celebrities, this show has the potential to scare the hell out of millions of viewers.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.