The first time TV Land went down the reality-show road, it was with a goofy but harmless "Chasing Farrah Fawcett."
This time around, the cable TV network that built a following with "classic" TV shows goes from rather ridiculous to downright reprehensible. "High School Reunion" (11 p.m., TV Land) could rightfully be considered a form of child abuse.
"Reunion" is the same show that aired on The WB in 2003 and 2004. A bunch of people who graduated from high school together are brought to Hawaii, where they share a house in "Real World" style, and drama ensues.
The biggest difference between the two incarnations of the show is that The WB's "Reunion" featured people a decade after graduation; TV Land's "Reunion" features people two decades after graduation.
And the biggest drama this time around centers on Mike and Lana, high school classmates who married and later divorced. Mike shows up in Hawaii still smarting from the breakup, which was complicated by the fact that his best friend, Steve, had an affair with Lana just after the divorce was finalized.
Oh, and Steve yet another classmate was living in Mike's house at the time.
It's not enough to ruin Mike's time in Hawaii by bringing Lana onto the show; before Episode 2 is over, Steve is there, too.
These are people pushing 40 who act like teenagers. Sometimes it's just juvenile and stupid like when Mike draws a mustache on Lana's picture. Sometimes it's astonishingly self-centered and stupid like when Lana insists that she did absolutely nothing wrong.
Sometimes it's just disturbing, like when the threat of violence between Mike, his pals and Steve crops up.
But what's most disturbing about all of this is that Lana and Mike have two young children. Children who have certainly already been through enough, who don't need the added stress and humiliation of having their parents act out on national television.
Can you imagine what it would be like to be those kids and go to school and be confronted by other kids who've seen "High School Reunion"?
(The show is repeated throughout the week, including afternoon airings. There are even repeats on TV Land sister channels VH1, VH1 Classic and CMT.)
There's no indication of whether the participants on the show are paid, but let's hope that Lana and Mike get enough to pay for all the therapy their kids are going to need.
As distasteful as so many so-called "reality" shows are, if you're an adult you can make the decision to make a fool out of yourself on TV. But parenthood brings added responsibility, and Lana and Mike have no business subjecting their kids to this.
Neither do the producers and TV Land itself. They should be deeply ashamed.
But they're not.
It's hard to figure what the TV Land programmers were thinking when they decided to pick "High School Reunion" off of The WB trash heap. Again, this is a cable network that was built on "I Love Lucy" and "Andy Griffith."
Even as its added shows from the '70s, '80s, '90s and early '00s, it's been a channel where you could find entertainment, not reality sleaze.
Maybe that's changing. And change is sometimes bad.So is "High School Reunion."
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