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Cheaters (Vol. 1)
DVD disk
12.01.2005 By: Jason Adams
Cheaters (Vol. 1) order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Various

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Someone suspects their significant other is being unfaithful. Instead of handling it like a responsible adult, they call in CHEATERS “detectives,” who follow the culprit and gather video evidence of the infidelity. CHEATERS then films the teary-eyed, infuriated confrontations and passes it off as entertainment.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I don’t recall ever actually seeing CHEATERS on TV. (I can only imagine that it might have played some late night on UPN or the WB.) The DVD box describes it as COPS meets Jerry Springer, which seems like a fitting description, not to mention a good assessment of its “white-trash,” indecent exploitation of human dignity.

Reality TV always seemed like nothing more than cheap and lazy entertainment, and while I may not enjoy it, I can understand the ostensible appeal of watching others suffer. It’s like driving by a horrible car wreck—you can’t help but stare out of morbid curiosity. That being said, CHEATERS is like stopping at the scene of the accident, laughing at the injured people, and then setting them and their vehicle on fire just so you can piss out the flames. It may be my last remaining shred of moral fiber, but I still believe there’s a fine line between exploitive entertainment and taking joy in utter tragedy.

A lot of these episodes are just plain hard to watch. There may be some funny, ridiculous moments (i.e. a guy in a bondage mask trying to sweet-talk to his understandably upset girlfriend), but I don’t particularly enjoy seeing people cry and having their hearts broken over and over again. Even if this kind of thing is your bag, CHEATERS gets repetitive pretty quickly: interview with the victim, condemning surveillance footage, messy confrontation, repeat. I haven’t even mentioned Joey Greco, the slimily manipulative and emotionally phony host. I heard he got stabbed in a later episode, and I can’t say I’m sad or surprised.

An extra half-star for the episode where a girl is um, toying with another girl dressed up as a construction worker in clown makeup…all while “God Bless America” plays in the background. After 21 years of life I thought I had seen everything. Apparently not. Thanks, CHEATERS.
THE EXTRAS
Nada. Zilch. Zero. Unless you count Episode Selection as a special feature.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Even if you have a penchant for reality television (as do most Americans), this is still the bottom of the barrel. I wouldn’t even file this under “guilty pleasure”—it’s just plain old trash. Then again, they keep making it, so somebody must be watching it…
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