“Homeland Security USA” is an ABC TV reality series about the men and women who guard our borders. It is scheduled to premiere on tonight at 8 pm on channel 7 and is ‘prescreened’ by actual Homeland Security.
The NY Times gives us a brief review:
…it borrows some of the cheesiness of “Dateline NBC” exposés: during the premiere, a patient, polite and poker-faced immigration officer tries to get answers from an attractive young woman who has arrived at Los Angeles International Airport without money or hotel reservations, carrying a suitcase packed with flimsy exotic dancing outfits.
“Something seems amiss with this Swiss miss,” an unseen narrator says archly.
There is nothing wrong with showcasing vigilant, well-trained border patrol and customs officials, and many do appear to take their responsibilities very seriously. An inspector at the Los Angeles airport gets misty when describing why he is so dedicated. “My kids fly,” he says, tearing up.
But as the camera and high-octane narration zoom from San Ysidro, Calif., to Blaine, Wash., from checkpoint to seaport to mail inspection facility, “Homeland Security USA” suggests vast sweep and thorough access. Viewers will assume that they can sleep soundly, reassured that every inch of the border is closely watched and well protected.
Might as well check it out. I never thought that homeland security would or should provide entertainment, not for a minute. I also fear any program that gives us a feel-good response over something we should be staying on our toes about every second we are alive. I hope it doesn’t cause us to relax and not remain vigilant.
So does this seem like suitable TV material? Are we reassured because REAL DHS is ‘pre-screening’ the material? Is our security better now than it was before 9-11? Are these reality shows just a bunch of hype? Readers, weigh in on this one.