“The Moment of Truth” debuted on FOX last week, and oh, what a moment it was. The game show has in its arsenal the most simplistic challenge on television: contestants must answer 21 questions correctly to win up to half a million dollars. So, what’s the bullet? Each question gets progressively more personal and duly difficult; answering “correctly” is but a euphemism for answering “honestly.” This all sounds easy enough until factoring in the lie detecting polygraph, the gaze and curiosity of three loved ones, and a live audience equipped with cheers and jeers for each morally revealing response.
The show’s first contestant, a personal trainer and husband named Ty, embarrassingly — but honestly —answered “yes” to the question, “Have you ever had sex with someone the same day you met them?” After a dismaying wave of “ooh’s,” a confused audience then found itself clapping for Ty—and the $10,000 he secured for answering truthfully. To keep count, that’s one for wealth over scrutinizing casual hanky panky. Then, when Ty denied ever touching a female client more than was required, the audience didn’t clap — whether this was because of his dishonesty, because of his invasive admission, or because he didn’t earn more money is uncertain… Let’s just hope that somewhere in our American barrel of values, there’s something to stop viewers from clapping on this degrading, cheesy, and overdone-reality show for even another episode.