Sunday, April 25, 2004

Forget "The Bachelor," now it's "The Baby"!

A few years ago, when the reality TV craze was just getting started -- circa "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" -- I joked in my weblog that somebody ought to do a show where a foster child gets to choose from among prospective adoptive parents, a sort of "Who Wants to Adopt Someone Who May Grow Up to Be a Multi-Millionaire?" The latest show being advertised by ABC doesn't take quite that tack, but it still gives every appearance of being a reality show in which the winning couple get a baby as a prize. "Be My Baby" purports to be a documentary look at the open adoption process, during which a pregnant 16-year-old meets couples who want to adopt her child. And maybe it's a perfectly straghtforward, ultimately pro-adoption piece of work -- the fact that Barbara Walters, an adoptive mom herself, is in charge should lead us to hope so. But the marketing campaign for the show is hooking it to the reality-show craze in what seems to me to be a blatantly offensive way. And I'm not alone, judging by the postings on ABC's message boards. I try never to judge a show or movie without actually seeing it first -- but I have no problem judging the marketing of this one, and I say it stinks.

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