Yet another reality show about class differences debuts tonight when The WB kicks off its new series Survival of the Richest at 8 p.m. ET.
The “show matches seven young people with a collective worth of $3 billion with seven young people with a collective debt of $150,000,” and the mismatched teams will work together. After challenges, they’ll be eliminated one team at a time; the last team standing gets $200,000, which, to the rich half of that team, as one contestant points out, as much as they’d drop on dinner. Hal Sparks hosts the series, and he’s pretty much the most recognizable member of the cast; there are no Paris Hiltons or Fabian Basabes here, which actually could work to the show’s advantage.
Critics who’ve seen the show, however, pretty much think it sucks. The Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Richmond says it “pretends to be teaching us important social lessons about privileged class/working class conflict when all it’s really doing is stacking the deck to demonstrate how the wealthy are all pigs, the have-nots unfailingly decent and noble.” The New York Daily News’ David Bianculli isn’t any kinder, calling the show “cold-hearted and dreadful.”