There has always been a purity to the Jerry Springer show.
Over the years, it has become nastier, and increasingly
brutal, and it has come to represent the ultimate
distillation of trash talk show television. A classic for
all time! It was just too good to last. Now, the show
has been castrated--right at the end of sweeps week...
The gossip talk show format may be evil, but the Jerry Springer show was the
purest, most innovative example of the genre. And it had the highest
Unlike Sally, Montel, and Maury, who are stuck with the old formula,
i.e., destroying people's lives on TV while pretending to help them, and unlike
Oprah and Jenny who only do "nice" shows anymore with makeovers and cooking
tips, Jerry has pushed the core aspects of the format -- sensational sex
gossip, confrontation, violent outbreaks, weeping, public shame and humiliation
-- to their limits. The Jerry Springer show is much more honest, more raw.
Lately, even Jerry's signature moralizing at the end of the show has turned
into little more than a commentary on who the guests were and why they were
fighting, in case you couldn't figure it out based on who was stomping who.
In the last couple of years, the show has become a vicious fighting arena for
hillbillies, degenerates, and freaks stupid enough to appear. The audience is
little more than an angry, hopped up mob who would gladly stone the guests to
death, or pelt them with rocks and garbage if they were given the opportunity.
This year Springer has added a new twist: the guests have been physically
attacking the audience and vice versa. Genius!
But all of this innovation and purity comes at a price. Jerry has been the
focal point of the critics' and politicians' attacks on the whole gossip talk
show format. And now USA Networks is running scared. Against the protests of
local affiliate stations everywhere, they have been showing reruns of ancient
Springer shows that have no punch. And worse, they promise to cut the heart
out of the show, turning it into some kind of milquetoast, sissy Oprah shit.