UPN has decided to rerun its canceled midseason show Under One Roof. At first I was delighted that they were bringing it back. Now that it has aired, a few things are starting to disturb me.
How unpractical is a house in Polynesia? This isnít exactly a vacation house thatís a 2-hour drive to the lake. In fact itís an expensive trip halfway around the world to a remote location. Why not offer a house in a more practical location? Why not give the families money? Why? One Word: Ratings.
Then we come to the families themselves. As I rewatched the first episode I found myself highly disturbed at the parent/child relationships I saw in most cases. The Distels resorted to bribery of the children. The price? A kitten and $500. In fact, Mike Distel, the father, admits that they have a term ďforced family fun.Ē Do they want a house so bad that they have to bribe their children to do this? What kind of message does this send, not only to their kids, but children watching the show?
We also have the Skofields. This neo-hippie family has a wild and crazy vibe, but when Mike Skofield begins arguing with Larry McRae, his kids seem embarrassed. The McRaes themselves initially seem like a tight knit family, but upon closer examination we find a family in which the children seem embarrassed at their fatherís arguments and other actions. Is a house in Polynesia so desirous that parents are willing to embarrass their children on national television?
Even the more balanced Hatmaker and Pagani families seem to have issues. Every time Daniel Hatmaker expresses a negative emotion or thought, his mother, Michelle, is right there to nag him about not saying things like that. The Pagani children, Giancarlo, Marchela and Bianca seem out of place in the rainforest setting. The trio spends a lot of on camera time during the first episode complaining and crying. Again, I ask, is a house worth putting ones children through this?
In the coming weeks, this reality television addict will be glued to upcoming episodes of Under One Roof. I just hope that the families pull together rather than fall apart during their quest for a house in paradise.