I grew up watching Queen for a Day, where some of the saddest people in America appeared on TV screens for 20 years to tell their heart-wrenching tales of family illness, unemployment, unfortunate circumstances, bad luck and other reasons why they should be determined by the studio audience's applause-meter to be named most in need of shiny new appliances and non-perishable food products.
I felt so badly for those poor women, who not only had to publicly expose their hardships, but then hope the audience found them more pitiful than the other unfortunate women on the show.
As product placement and reality became synonymous with television, I thought audiences had been spared the obsolete Queen for a Day. Oprah said she didn't want her "giving" show renewed, thus forcing less people to humiliate themselves. Younger generations would never have to see the gawdy cape, wand and crown, which I assume were collected from the winner Queen as soon as the show ended.
Darn. "Queen gamer holding court at RDF USA" headlined the Hollywood Reporter, with the news that the "long-running reality game show" was being pitched to broadcast and cable networks. The key now, as one of the executives was quoted saying, is the show is "advertiser friendly."
I know television needs advertising, but what is the saturation level? Product placement impacts television's talent competitions, endurance tests, sports and fitness challenges and psychological exercises. Isn't Queen for a Day taking it too far?