Hollywood Reporter says G4, the Comcast-owned cable network known for video game and tech-themed themed programming (i.e. Attack of the Show), has ordered ten episodes of a Cops-style reality show that will follow a bomb-disposal unit in Afghanistan.
The show, called Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan, is the latest of a series of horrendous reality show concepts to come down the pike in recent weeks — including Lost and Found (starring Ryan and Tatum O’Neal attempting to, before TV cameras, heal their dysfunctional father-daughter relationship), Loving Levi (following Levi Johnston’s run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska) and one featuring former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater doing a reverse Donald Trump and encouraging people to quit their jobs.
While Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan may be able to make a more reasonable claim to high-minded aspirations than those other shows (i.e. calling attention to real American heroes) it, nonetheless, places cameras in places they don’t belong for essentially entertainment purposes.
Unlike a defensible one-time documentary or 60 Minutes piece reporting on the work of these brave soldiers, a so-called reality TV series (especially if its a hit) will, by definition, need to keep finding new ways to stretch reality and keep things interesting (as any scripted TV drama does).
Besides the security concerns one would think the military would have over such a show, there is the cringe-inducing possibility that we’ll end up with a reality soap along the lines of The Real Soldiers of Afghanistan as the interpersonal relationships of the “characters” come into play. These heroes should not have their sacrifices and lives reduced to to still more fodder for television entertainment.