wednesday, september 13

from somewhere

With its live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of high-profile court trials, Court TV was airing reality
programming before it was a trend. But does
anybody mention Court TV in the same breath as
“Survivor” or “Big Brother”? No. The network that
kept us glued to the tube with the William Kennedy
Smith, Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson trials
doesn’t get any credit for the mania it helped create.
And that desire for a piece of the reality-ratings pie,
ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is the reason for
Court TV’s new series “Confessions.” Anybody who watches it will never again get on a
high horse about “Survivor” supposedly exploiting
human nature at its worst. When it comes to reality
show exploitation, not to mention sheer scumminess,
“Confessions” is the gold standard. A weekly half-hour series (it airs Sundays at 10
p.m.), “Confessions” runs actual videotaped
confessions from murderers, rapists and other
criminals, culled from the files of district attorneys
and police departments across the country. The
confessions are presented without narration;
minimalist on-screen titles tell you the suspect’s
name, the crime and the outcome of the case.
Only
tapes from cases that are no longer in the court
system are used.