Monday night, MTV debuts two new series. First, at 6 p.m. ET/PT, MTV debuts a new half-hour show, Busted, that is basically Cops starring MTV’s audience, but it also includes interviews with people after their encounter with police. One episode features a girl who’s so drunk she says she’s walking to the “hungry store.” You know, because she’s hungry.
Later, the network sends the spoiled, obnoxious cast members of My Super Sweet 16 on (hopefully) life-changing trips to places such as Kenya, the Arctic Circle, and the Amazon. There, MTV says “they’ll have to live like local commoners with none of the amenities of their normally privileged lives.” The new show, Exiled! debuts at 10:30 p.m. ET, after The Hills.
To help make the show socially redeeming, MTV has
content on its Think web site for viewers to “[l]earn more about the countries and the communities explored in each episode.” MTV VP Ian V. Rowe told the New York Times, “We see ‘Exiled!’ as a teachable moment. … Usually when young people are exposed to issues, especially through the eyes of their peers, they sense injustice and they want to know what they can do to fix it.”
The United Nations Foundation is even working with MTV, after partnering with American Idol for Idol Gives Back. UNF VP Kathy Bushkin Calvin said they are “much more open to this kind of edgier opportunity to get their point across,” and working with the Fox show made them “more comfortable, frankly, with being part of a different kind of media than we had in the past. She said the MTV show might be the “beginning of developing a global girls’ network that we could use for greater good. I think this is a huge opportunity.”
As to the actual participants, Bobby Tillander, whose daughter Amanda appears on the show, said it profoundly affected his daughter. “I think every kid should have to go do this. It’s just a total transformation,” he said. And Amanda said it was “kind of like a wake-up call. I don’t need the finest things in life. Look at what they worry about: they worry about food and water every day.”