The Growing Trend For TV Freak Shows

Photo taken by me – my TV set
Preston, England
December 4, 2015 11:55am CST
Roll up, roll up, see the dwarfs, bearded ladies, and people suffering from elephantiasis – we may even have a few Siamese twins on show. At one time such circus curiosity shows were common, until it was recognized that they were just cruel exploitation, reducing human beings to zoo specimens to be prodded, poked, abused and stared at. Now such shows are back, not at travelling fairs, circuses and carnivals, but on TV. This week alone my satellite viewing options included a look at Britain’s fattest men, medical studies of people living with unusual cysts, or elephantiasis and a woman covering her entire body in tattoos. Though presented as documentaries, there is no doubt this was pure voyeuristic exploitation and viewer-titillation. The people on display obviously need the money but the motive for such shows is pure sensationalism – the programme makers no better than Victorian fairground hawkers – suffice to say, I chose not to watch any of these programmes. Arthur Chappell
10 people like this
11 responses
@LadyDuck (142240)
• Switzerland
4 Dec 15
I cannot believe that those shows are not banned. There is no limit to the bad taste.
2 people like this
@Asylum (48288)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
There have been a great number of such shows appearing lately, including such bizarre categories as unsuccessful plastic surgery. I avoid these shows like the plague and cannot understand why people want to see such sights.
2 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (71391)
• Banks, Oregon
4 Dec 15
Yeah, I don't watch that garbage either, no interest in it.
2 people like this
@Jessicalynnt (47798)
• Centralia, Missouri
5 Dec 15
I have stopped by and watched one now and then, seeing how someone has coped with a weird disease and the treatments they needed, and I hoped the show helped pay for them
1 person likes this
@akalinus (14280)
• United States
5 Dec 15
The old freak shows were a cruel exploitation of people suffering abnormalities. However, there were no disability laws and no way for these people to support themselves. On the freak shows, some made a very good living but many were used and exploited by show managers.
@PatZAnthony (12258)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
4 Dec 15
These are shows most of us can easily avoid. I think you are correct some do make some money by participating in the exploitation, which seems to make it even sadder.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (16332)
• Riga, Latvia
4 Dec 15
@arthurchappell for reasons like this alone I do not watch the so called interactive TV here in Latvia. More and more I am watching my old videos especially Disney cartoons because they make me happy and soon I am going to be going through all of my Christmas movies. That should get me to the New Year. I cannot take shows like what you just mentioned.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (24385)
• United States
4 Dec 15
I have also noticed this trend with television shows.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16428)
• Denmark
4 Dec 15
I guess some people show watch those shows since they continue to make them. In many ways this is similar to the freak shows from the past, I agree with that. I don't understand why people watch those shows.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21373)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
4 Dec 15
Yep: "voyeuristic exploitation and viewer-titillation" about sums it up. You'd enjoy Ben Elton's book "Blind Faith", food for thought...
1 person likes this
• Lucknow, India
4 Dec 15
A nice choice indeed!! I don't know what is the person thinking who gives an OK to such shows to be ran on the channel!! Maybe somewhere along the line of :- "Ohh!! My 2 year old kid laughed at it, so I guess everyone will""
1 person likes this