Sunday, April 02, 2006

Extreme Makeover: Exploitation edition

I've never watched this feel-good phenomenon, though I'm pretty confident I have a low Ty Pennington tolerance. While I'm always glad to see the needy benefit, there's something icky about the way the network recruits those who appear on the show. Below is an E-mail (minus the italicized comments) written by Phinel Petit-Frere, an ABC representative based in New York, who passed along the makeover show's wish list to network affiliates in the Southeast:

We are open to any and ALL story ideas and are especially looking for the following:

*Extraordinary Mom/Dad recenty diagnosed with ALS

*Family who has child with PROGERIA (aka "little old man disease")
I bet Ralph Macchio is available

*Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis, referred to as CIPA by the few people who know about it. (There are 17 known cases in the hte U.S.-let me know if one is in your town!) This is where kids cannot feel any physical pain.
Sorry to be glib, but does that sound like such a bad thing?

*Muscular Dystrophy Child - Amazing kid who is changing people's views about MD

*MADD/Drunk Driving - Family turns tragedy into triumph after a losing a child to drunk driving
Exactly how does one turn tragedy into triumph?

*Family who has mulptiple children w/ Down Syndrome (either adopted or biological)
Only one mentally disabled kid? Next ...

*Amazing/loved Mom or dad diagnosed w/ melanoma (skin cancer)
Not interested in ordinary/liked parents, I suppose

*Home Invasion - family robbed, house messed up (vandalized) - kids fear safety in their home now.
That'll make a nice tie-in for the 11 o'clock news

*Victims of hate crime in own home. Family's house victim of arson or severely vandalized

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