Last night we watched Oprah's new show called, "The Big Give". The basic premise is that 10 people are traveling around the country and each week they are given a task that involves helping someone in need. This part is good…I'm all for helping people. But then here is the kicker. The motto of the show is "Give big or go home!" The contestants are judged on their performance and each week one of them who didn't "bring it" on the same level as the others is sent packing. It's "Good Samaritan Survivor". The other kicker is that the contestants do not know that the "winner" of "The Big Give" will be rewarded with $1,000,000 for their efforts.
I'm just not sure how I feel about turning helping others into a game show. The contestants have chosen to participate for a number of reasons from the contestant who says, "You can either get a boob job, get Botox or truly turn your life around…I really want to change my direction now. I want the next half of my life to be about giving back because I've been so blessed." to the one who says, "As a young entrepreneur, I've been giving since I was 10 years old, and this was an opportunity to continue that on a much larger scale." I think the cast, for the most part, has sincere motives (and I am happy to give them the benefit of the doubt)… I'm not even sure I can find words to describe why I was so bugged. I guess I wonder if the show would be compelling enough if it was just about folks doing good things for people motivated by love. Do we really need the soap opera, reality TV conflict drama to make the story watchable? Do we need to watch the "judges" harshly critique their performance, or would it be more beneficial to those learning to give and those recipients of the giving if folks would just pool together and help instead of standing on the outside "judging"?
Did anyone else see the show? What were your thoughts?