I don’t know why, but I’m ashamed to admit I watched CBS’ new show, The Briefcase. To me, CBS is like McDonald’s, everyone goes there but no one will admit to it. I even thought up a few lies to tell you so I wouldn’t look like a complete loser. (Ex. I thought the show was called The Beefsteak) In all honesty, I watched the show just because I heard it was terrible and I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. (I imagine this is how Sharknado gets all of its viewers.)
The Beefsteak The Briefcase is what I would categorize as a manufactured reality show, even more so than most. The concept is that two well-deserving families are given $101,000 and it is up to them to decide how to split up the money between the two families. Complications arise, but not the Survivor-see-how-many-coconuts-you-can-carry kind of complications. All of the problems come from the producers deceiving the couples about how much money is available as well as how much the other couple knows about them.
To continue down my shame spiral, not only did I watch the show, but I also went to CBS’ website to find out more about the show. There are lots of the usual website-y things online: first looks at the couple, recaps of this week’s families and more. What is most surprising is that CBS does an “8 Emotional Moments From This Week’s Episode” for each show. For me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Throughout the series, the couples are exploited. The producers put them in awful situation just to get footage of the people saying, “This is awful, I feel like an awful person for not wanting to share the money.” At one point, one of the couples has to pull off to the side of the road to throw up. The “8 Emotional Moments” online just seemed like overkill.
Instead of reviewing the eight emotions of the couples, I think the internet would be better served if we reviewed the “8 Emotions You Experience While Watching The Briefcase.”
Emotion One: Intrigue
Initially, I will admit the concept of the show is interesting. It is like the first time you watch Celebrity Wife Swap, or Joe Millionaire. You know you are watching something you just can’t decide if it is worthy of your time.
The moment they give the couple the $101,000 my brain immediately went to “what would I do with all that money?” I began to think about what it would be like to have Rick Ross’ bank account at the beginning of “Drug Dealers Dilemma.”
Emotion Three: Worry
Right after you ponder how you would spend the money, a sense of dread falls over you. If I was on the show, would I be the absolute worst person? Would I keep all the money? Would I shame my family forever?
These sweet people will break your heart. Whether the couples are pursuing adoption or the father is a veteran of the Iraq War, They all seem like legitimate good people.
Emotion Five: RAGE
Why are these sweet, sweet people being put through this difficult test?
Emotion Six: EVEN MORE RAGE
Why are these couples going through each others’ homes? The invasion of privacy is too much for me to handle. I would be mortified if a camera caught how much dog hair is lurking around by baseboards.
Emotion Seven: Confusion
These producers are so shady. Why are they wearing earpieces? Why does the lady producer dressed like Lara Croft? Why are they putting these couples through this torturous dilemma?
Emotion Eight: Shame
Especially after I read this article on Vulture, I felt ashamed for watching this show. I think I’ll go read a book now.