Friday, September 30, 2005

When did Consequences Go Out of Style?!?

The only new TV show worth its weight in salt is Breaking Bonaduce.
Akin to watching an execution in slow motion, this is the most engrossing show I've seen in a long time. Granted, I'm not the couch veteran that Bratch, Piccu and perhaps Merlin is, but I know what I like and I know good TV when I see it. Breaking Bonaduce is great TV.
There should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to tell folks that this type of behavior is absolutely and completely insane and should not be acceptable to anyone outside of a mental institution. I'd love to hear Merlin's comments on their hapless psychiatrist, but that's for another time.
Breaking Bonaduce stars, surprise, Danny Bonaduce. Danny is the poster child for what not to do when you're a child star. Breaking and entering, stealing, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, verbal abuse, and marital infidelity only scratch the surface of what Bonaduce does. Self destructive behavior puts it mildly. As his marriage is falling apart, Danny moves from one masochistic hobby to the next all with the feeling that in the end, it'll all work out. Why? Because it always does.
Which brings me to my point. When will we realize that forgiveness isn't always the answer. In America we forgive and forget to a fault. When Darrell Strawberry couldn't discern a coke line from a baseline, we forgave him. When Dennis Rodman did whatever it is he does, we forgave him. When Paul Rubins got busted working on his equipment in public, he got a standing ovation at an MTV awards show.
Consequences help determine our actions. That's as simple as it gets. When we remove consequences, we watch as people continue to push in search of boundaries that don't exist. That's what Breaking Bonaduce catches on film. We already know that before this first season ends, Danny will attempt suicide. But you know what, he's going to be ok. And that, is the problem.


Piccu said...
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Piccu said...

I have watched this show and it seems to me that this is fake reality. It looks real, but things are just a little too real to be true. Isn't it odd that just as he really starts to go off the rails, a camera is there to document it? I am not saying that this is scripted, but I think that perhaps Bonaduce is going over the top because he knows over the top makes for good TV. I will admit it is an interesting train wreck to watch.

As for the whole forgiveness and consequences thing, I have heard this saying many times, especially in the world of sports, America is the land of second chances. In some cases, like former crackhead pitcher Steve Howe, it is the land of seventh chances. I do agree that there needs to be more consequences for people’s actions, especially celebrities that seem to get away with murder, as some do.

However, everyone does not get so lucky as to be forgiven and embraced. Ask Rafael Palmeiro how things have been since his positive drug test. I know that is only one example in a thousand, but perhaps it is a step in the right direction.

Travis said...

But that's not apples and apples. What hurt Palmeiro is threefold.
1. He swore in front of Congress, even got defensive and upset, saying that he did not take steroids.
2. He flopped when he came back "clean" after taking one of the most easily identifiable steroids on the market.
3. He tried to blame a teammate which is a baseball no-no.

But our obsession with forgiveness extends far beyond celebrities. We want to blame everything on a sickness. Everyone has an excuse, and if they don't, we make one up for them. The only thing we don't readily forgive is abusing children, and may we never be forgiving in that area.
I see it as another area of political correctness gone amok.

my_merlin77 said...

I think I agree with whole idea that TV and other media have made things that shouldn't be ok, seem ok. It sounds like this show you're talking about is no exception. There is a way that most things going on can be "reported" in an appropriate, educational if not entertaining way. Reality TV never seems to do this regardless of the concept. I say never but there are exceptions, mostly in terms of the non immoral reality shows (biggest loser, extreme homemake over,....)

As far as the forgiveness comment. I believe in forgiveness, as you have mentioned discussing being a Christian. That is a part (probably second behind love) of being a Christian. Now, here is the point I think you are making and I whole-heartedly agree: forgiveness should never remove the need for consequences. If you are drunk and run over a kid crossing the street, guess what you need consequences; but do we forgive that person? I think as Christians we have to. Loving and forgiving everyone that's the hard part of being a Christian for me. Putting someone in jail for the rest of their lives; I got no problem with that either. Death penalty? I'm not sure.