I used to love this shit show when I was around 19 or 20. At first, I found Cheaters hysterical. Eventually, either due to maturity or the show becoming more and more appalling, I stopped watching.
The other day I was on YouTube and came across this “best of” clip.
The clip features a woman (the cheater, I’m assuming) standing on the roof of a building and threatening to jump, a hooded man caught in the middle of a punishment session from a transexual mistress (I hope he’s the type of sub that gets off on humiliation), a woman who goes into labor and gives birth while she is in the middle of confronting her cheating husband (now, that’s timing!), the host, Joey Greco, getting attacked by what looks like a firecracker, and finally the host getting stabbed on a boat (a motherfucking boat!). Wait. Why did I stop watching this show again? Oh yeah, cause it’s disgusting… highly entertaining, but disgusting. To be honest, I was surprised that this show is still on the air. I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years, but according to IMDB it’s in its twelfth season.
Scanning the show’s official YouTube channel, it’s obvious that the bread and butter of Cheaters is the confrontations:
Yet, what I always found most interesting was what happened after the confrontations. So many of the couples would end up staying together after this show. While I can maybe understand forgiving someone who cheated on me, I don’t think I would ever be able to forgive someone for following me with a camera and humiliating me on a nationally syndicated television show. In my opinion, a lot of these people have to be sex and/or love addicts. If this show is real (there is evidence that it is not) it’s exploiting a lot of vulnerable people.
On the show’s website, the welcome message states, “This show is both dedicated to the faithful and presented to the false-hearted to encourage their renewal of temperance and virtue.” Bullshit! This statement should really read, “This show is both dedicated and presented to the mindless masses who find entertainment in other people’s personal tragedies, and whose viewership fills the coffers of our false-hearted production team.” Aside from a link to live “counseling” where one can pay a professional $4.99 a minute to chat online, the site lists no resources for sexual or romance compulsion, or for people struggling to break free from painful relationships. There are also links to spying resources and dating sites…. ’cause that’s the healthy way to deal when you suspect someone is cheating on you — you drive yourself crazy spying on your mate, then when you can’t take it anymore you find someone new to obsess over.
I’ll admit that I’m a fan of overly dramatic reality television. The Real Housewives franchise is one of my guiltiest pleasures. But I cannot get behind Cheaters. It’s bad for the soul. The one moment of entertainment I might experience watching the it isn’t worth the awfulness. Not only does Cheaters exploit vulnerable people, but it does so by pretending to help them.