The Internet Ruined My Life
After reading (and reviewing) So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, I’ve continued to be interested in the topic of public shaming. I was happy to see that others were interested in the topic as well, and that Syfy was actually creating a series called The Internet Ruined My Life. Unfortunately, in trying to continue the conversation, Syfy got it horribly wrong.
The show is structured to be 30 minutes, broken up into 2 story segments. The subjects for the first episode were actually both pretty interesting. First was Suey Park, who created the #CancelColbert hashtag after a racially insensitive joke Stephen Colbert made on his parody show The Colbert Report. Second was a British man named Leigh Van Bryan, who, due to poor wording and a major misunderstanding of British dialect, was refused entry to the United States, and actually deported back to England. So, we have an interesting concept for a show, and two interesting stories to kick things off with. Things start to fall apart though very quickly in the show’s execution of story telling.
The major problem I have with the execution is that it flips back and forth between interviews with the victims, and those involved with the stories, with reenactments of certain plot points. I just couldn’t get over watching an interview, then cutting to an actor pretending to play the person being interviewed. I found it very distracting, and completely taking me out of the stories they were attempting to tell.
In all the advertisements for the show, there is absolutely no indication of the reenactment portion. I don’t know if this was intentional, as Syfy thought maybe people wouldn’t enjoy this portion of the show (like me), or for a completely different reason. All I know is that it left me pretty disappointed, enough that I don’t intend on watching another episode. Reenactments just feel a bit cheap, and not treating the subject with the seriousness I feel it deserves. I just hope that someone in the future takes a different approach to the topic of public shaming though, because it’s not going anywhere, and is something that more people need to be made aware of.
The Internet Ruined My Life airs at 10pm, Wednesdays on Syfy.