Rare is the reality-TV show that celebrates the good in humanity—even the more uplifting examples of the genre have their dark sides. (American Idol and Simon Cowell, etc.) But the rise of reality TV and the explosion of channels that need cheap, easy, and eyeball-attracting programming to fill its coffers have resulted in a state of affairs where shows about people being complete monster nightmares to their loved ones (and, sometimes, themselves) take up lots of square footage. It’s hate-watching as a spectator sport, although the home-invasion nature of television also brings up some questions—who is the hatred being directed at, and whether or not these showcases of horrible people are serving as inadvertently aspirational programming.
Friday night, the weddings-gone-wrong chronicle Bridezillas begins its 10th—and final—season on We-TV, a channel for women that came to life in 1997. We was launched launched by the Cablevision subsidiary Rainbow Entertainment; its name is supposed to be an acronym for “Women’s Entertainment,” and it’s kind of a low-rent Lifetime where original series like Alien Abduction:True Confessions and L.A. Hair. bump shoulders with Ghost Whisperer and Roseanne reruns. For a while, it seemed like We’s stock in trade was wedding-themed shows; at one point it had enough wedding-themed shows to warrant an entire spinoff channel related to The Most Important Day In A Woman’s Entire Life. [...]