Earlier this morning in Istanbul, Turkey nine women were rescued from a fake reality show set where they had been held captive for two months. The women each responded to an ad for a new season of the Turkish version of Big Brother, and signed contracts stipulating that they would live together in a villa and be forced to pay a hefty fine if they wanted to leave early.
Now, there are a million things that are f@#%ed up about this story. These women were held captive against their will and threatened when they tried to leave without paying a fine to their captors. They were told to wear bikinis and "fight" with one another by the pool, while four men filmed them. They were on camera 24/7, even while changing. They weren't allowed contact with the outside world, not even with family members. However, the worst thing about this awful situation is that it is disturbing because the footage was not aired on national television.
Think about it. If this exact same scenario had played out with the footage being aired as a reality television show, no one would think twice about it. We have officially reached the point where just about anything goes, as long as it will be viewed by millions of people. (In this particular situation, the footage was aired only online, though the women were told it would be aired on TV.) Take the cameras away, and this is an incredibly upsetting kidnapping story. Bring the cameras back, and it's good television.
"Terrible boyfriend? We can fix him. Complete tools transformed into knights in shining armor." These are the promises of the opening credits of Tool Academy, VH1's latest trash-tastic series in which women drag their truly terrible boyfriends through a relationship boot camp in hopes of turning them into nice guys. The tools agreed to come on the show thinking it was called Mr. Awesome, a competition to determine "the biggest Alpha male in America." After they learned the show's real premise, they all stayed on in hopes of proving themselves to their girlfriends...and winning $100,000 for being the best boyfriend.
If you're wondering what makes a tool a tool, it appears to be a combination of made-up names (Celebrity, M.E.G.A., Matsuflex, etc.), excessive hair gel, and behavior that's just…well, look if you dare.
(Note: The videos in this post contain ads. Blame it on VH1.)