A win-win-win moment for Must-Retch TV in the land of the Lowest Common Denominator.
Maury (formerly known as The Maury Povich Show) is a syndicated American television show hosted by Maury Povich. The show was created along the same lines as The Jerry Springer Show with the exception of the subject matter Maury discusses. Although Maury is similar to Springer, Povich discourages actual onstage physical confrontations, although he does seem to encourage verbal aggression among his guests. The majority of the show’s episodes deals with issues of sexual infidelity, paternity test results, unusual illnesses or makeovers, or “out of control” teenagers.
While waiting for a take-out order the other day, amusement was provided by the establishment’s television, which was turned onto the show Maury.
The show was examining–surprise!–the paternity of a woman’s child.
The woman in question had–surprise!–more than one child.
The intrepid paternity detectives tested four men, trying to establish the father of this woman’s oldest child. A couple of the candidate fathers came on the set to argue their case with the mother.
Predictably, the men were insisting that, “NO, I am not the daddy.” The mother was just as adamant that they were. The spectacle of a woman earnestly insisting to several different men on the same show that “I know you’re the father”, one after the other, was lost on all those in attendance.
The woman was understandably upset when none of the four candidates for fatherhood proved to be the boy’s father.
Maury was sympathetic, and the studio audience must have been screened thoroughly for cynics, as it sounded genuinely sympathetic, as well.
Meanwhile, the woman was agreeably–for the show’s drama quotient–demonstrative: throwing herself on the floor, pounding her fists in frustration and crying loudly at her latest attempt to provide her child with a father.
If only she’d shown such determination–prior to the child’s conception.
Nothing was said–maybe nothing needed to be–about the spectacle of a woman not being able to narrow down to four, who might have possibly fathered one of her children. Maybe it’s just a snapshot of American society 2008.
If only the woman’s determination had occurred before she got pregnant. Then it would have been a win-win situation: boy gets girl, girl get boy, kid gets father. The only one losing out would have been Maury. The show would have been forced to move down its long list of women requesting their 15 minutes of fame along with a free paternity check for their children.
It’s hard, when you’re an unrestricted believer in capitalism, to be critical of a show that is the epitome of the free market. All of the principles found each other freely and without government help: Maury gets its necessary dose of drama, the audience gets its daily dose of vicarious drama, the “performers” get a free service and some pocket change.
It’s a win-win-win situation.