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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Juvies–The Saddest Show



Sadness comes in many forms. It comes in the ironic, opposite of what’s expected, let-down form. It comes in the pathetic form. It comes in the Hallmark form. Now MTV offers a new kind of sadness. A non-entertaining reality check kind of sadness that rolls all forms of sadness up into one big sob. Juvies is sad. So so very sad.

Usually, I bask in the sarcastic. Today, I put away my sarcasm to take a real look at a very important show. Juvies follows juvenile delinquents on their path to either freedom or confinement. Each case is unique. Each kid is unique. At first, I thought I’d be laughing and hypothetically high fiving the justice system for bringing down the brats. Not so. Even I can’t find joy in these cases, not even in the repeat offenders. In fact, I feel sad for them.

The typical story is that the kid has run away, got caught with drugs, got arrested for drunk driving, was fighting, or did something wrong and got caught. Some deny it. Some admit to it and cry. Some don’t give a damn. That’s the saddest of all. They’re already jaded and they’re not even adults.

First, the kids need to give up all their possessions and put them in a box. Then they need to de-lice themselves and take a shower while some big burly guy watches. Then they need to read all thousand rules written on the wall. The rules, literally, are on the wall. In tiny type. Then they wear matching outfits. They each go to bed in their own cells that don’t have bars but have heavy doors with small windows. They get a cot with a thin mattress to sleep on. They have one thin sheet. They sleep in an oversized shirt that looks like a hospital gown. They are cold.

The new arrivals get a rude awakening when they see all the other juvies first come in. It’s a scary thing. It’s not fun. It’s sad.

At the end of the show, the kids go to court. Sometimes their parents are there. Sometimes not. The judge asks them questions like, How do we know you’re going to change? And they say, Because I’ve learned my lesson. How the judge deciphers between who has learned and who hasn’t, I have no idea. Sometimes the judge asks the parents if they can take their children home with them. Sometimes the parents say yes. Sometimes, instead of saying no, they say that they don’t know. And that’s sad too.

Some of the kids get to go home. Some of them must stay in juvenile detention. Tears either way.

[b]And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: The sadness of some can lead to better lives for others.

Depressed? Me too. I’m never talking about a show like this again.
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