Monday, March 27, 2006

Intervention = Hard to Watch TV

Television that tugs at the heart strings is kind of an addiction of mine. I enjoy watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition where people with bad luck get lifted up by receiving an outrageous house for free. I usually cry. I have no problem saying that because I'm a pretty tenderhearted guy anyway. I just get affected by people.

A show I watched for the first time last night was "Intervention" on A&E. Last night's episode followed a man named Chuckie who was a heroin addict. Chuckie was told that he was being filmed for a documentary on addiction, so he agreed to let cameras film him purchasing heroin, shooting up, talking with his dad, and talking with his ex-girlfriend. During the latter meeting he saw his five month old son for only the second time since his birth.

Chuckie's family of course was planning an intervention. With the help of an intervention specialist they planned their meeting with Chuckie without Chuckie knowing. Here's the hard part. Chuckie was born addicted to heroin. His mother was a user. His father was a user. His ex-girlfriend was a user. All of them are recovering addicts now.

The whole show was heartbreaking, but the intervention itself was especially so. Five people in the room; Chuckie's father, his mother, his ex-girlfriend, his brother and the intervention specialist all were in tears. So was Chuckie. They all essentially told him it was rehab now, right this minute, or else he was out of their lives. Chuckie agreed. For two months he seemed to be doing well. Then they showed the "five months later" scene. It opened outside of a California prison. Chuckie was inside. He had been kicked out of rehab for using, he had moved back in with his mother (who couldn't resist "helping" her son) and was arrested stealing a car to buy more heroin.

The last we saw, Chuckie was being transfered to a prison to serve a sixteen month sentence. A man with so much to live for. A girlfriend who cares for him, a brother, a mother, a father, and most importantly a son that he could save from the same pathetic upbringing that Chuckie had. But he couldn't stop. No happy endings. That's TV that is hard, hard, hard to watch, but I'll watch it next week.

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