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WATCH: CBS' New Reality Show The Briefcase Pairs Lesbian Couple with Gun-Toting Conservatives

WATCH: CBS' New Reality Show "The Briefcase" Pairs Lesbian Couple with Gun-Toting Conservatives

WATCH: CBS' New Reality Show "The Briefcase" Pairs Lesbian Couple with Gun-Toting Conservatives

Don't write The Briefcase and its manipulative premise off just yet.


CBS' newest reality show from The Biggest Loser creator Dave Broome doesn't seem incredibly promising. You're probably even going to groan through our mere description of the premise and wonder how on earth we've sunk this low in our programming. Essentially, The Briefcase is a reality show in which a poor family is given a briefcase with $101,000 cash inside. Oh, but there's a catch, because of course there is! The family is then informed that there's an even needier family of strangers that they can choose to give some, all, or none of their money to. And because it's reality TV, this has to be taken a step even further, and so families seem to be paired up in a way that potentially challenges surface stereotypes. For example, one episode will feature the pairing of a married lesbian couple and a gun-toting Christian conservative family. Cue the frenzied moral back-and-forth, the loud and aggressive fights within families as they struggle to come to a conclusion about their position, and the lots and lots of tears (seriously, this promo is practically drowing in itself) as the two families come together and meet for the first time. We're assuming this meeting goes best when both families have decided to give up at least some of their money. If they don't, hell, at least it makes for interesting TV. 

"Well, uh, that sounds pretty grossly manipulative," you may be thinking to yourself as you wonder how this could possibly be a real thing. agrees with you, but has also pointed out that there could be a bright side to this icky premise in this fantastic article.The Briefcase has the opportunity encourage an understanding of poverty that could change some of people's preconceived, negative ideas behind how people fell into these circumstances. As the Jezebel articles states, "(People) make a lot of nasty character judgments about people who are poor. They assume it’s their fault." If The Briefcase really can start a dialogue about poverty that changes the lens and forces viewers to see it in a different, less stereotyped and assumptive light, then CBS might truly have something important on their hands. Perhaps the episode with the lesbian couple and conservative family will teach both sides and many viewers as well to break down stereotypes and get on equal ground. Perhaps it really won't. We'll just have to wait and see, because even though this premise has us rolling our eyes into our skulls, our interest is piqued. We truly do hope for the best out of The Briefcase.



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Preston Max Allen