Survival porn

There’s a show, I think it’s on the Bio channel, called, “I Survived.” The premise of the show is that they interview men and women who survived attempted murders, assaults, rapes–you know, real feel good stuff. There are two things I don’t get about this show.

First and foremost, why are we making these people relive these horrendous events? Some of these stories involve crimes that are the epitome of brutality and heinousness. I’d be worried about PTSD and the psychological consequences of making someone revisit a traumatic event.

But second, and more distressing, is who the hell is watching this show? I don’t understand what the entertainment value in something like this is. I find nothing titillating, fascinating, or entertaining about rape, for example. In my opinion, the weirdos who watch these kinds of shows exhibit some sort of dark, morbid voyeurism. They must derive some sort of pleasure from hearing about such things, or else I assume that they wouldn’t watch the show.

I’ve dubbed this show and others like it “survival porn” because apparently there’s a fraction of television viewers out there who constitute a market for vicariously experiencing traumatic events. Personally, I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the fact that there’s a demand for this kind of thing, or the fact that there’s a network willing to supply it to make some money.

2 thoughts on “Survival porn

  1. I’ve seen commercials for the show, but haven’t watched an episode. I’ve seen a few reality shows, but really don’t watch much t.v. in general. I can’t say I have much interest in watching something like that either.

    I’d imagine that there has to be a wide variety of people who do the show for various reasons, and I can’t fault them. Maybe some of them do it because they need the money, or perhaps it’s therapeutic and helps them deal with the traumatic event. I think a lot of people try to bury things like that and would have difficulty coping, so if it helps, then good for them.

    1. I certainly hope they were well compensated for their time. I’m sure some of those people had astronomical medical bills, in which case I’m sure they probably needed a little extra cash. And I’m sure that everyone who goes on the show does so voluntarily, but I still can’t help but feel it’s a way to get cheap thrills from someone else’s misery, even if they’re handsomely compensated. But, if it’s somehow therapeutic to them, more power to ‘em, I guess. Thank you for the comment!

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