Tag Archives: “Scared Straight”

Shoot Out: Steve Perry and the “Save My Son” episodes

I happened to come across an episode of “Save My Son“. The show is hosted by School Principal Steve Perry Ph. D. The show is kind of a reality show but is actually real.

SOAPBOX MOMENT: Let me first tell you that I don’t believe in wasting my time watching reality shows and the category “reality show” is oxymoronic altogether. Yes there are real activities that are filmed but the boring subject matter usually doesn’t get aired and you come away with this notion that life is choc full of fights, lies, sex, money…you name it. Let me tell you now, THAT IS NOT REALITY, that is a producer trying to make his show popular. If the show has a million people watching it, then commercials costs more to advertise, the higher the viewership the more the producer can charge advertisers to air commercials of their products. Similar to the 5 million dollar per 30 seconds for commercials for the SuperBowl. There are millions of people watching, and to air your commercial during the game, you’re going to pay. It’s all about money. The reality shows always cater to the dramatic or idiocy, it draws us in, and that’s why I don’t like it. I can’t let that energy enter my peaceful house. END SOAPBOX MOMENT

Dr. Perry man…I gotta say, I applaud you. This was the first reality show that hit me in the chest, maybe the second.  My first was “Scared Straight” on HBO see description…

“Filmed at Rahway State Prison, a group of inmates known as the “lifers” berate, scream at, and terrify the young offenders in an attempt to “scare them straight” (hence the film’s title) so that those teenagers will avoid prison life. The documentary aired on television in the late 1970s, uncensored; it marked the first time that the words “F#@!” and “S#!&” were broadcast on many networks.”
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scared_Straight!

HBO aired that show before the category of “reality show” existed. The show had an undeniable affect on me. Similar to that affect was the “Save My Son” show, it was dead on, i felt it, I connected to the child and the parents. The situation was a lot like some personal circumstances I’ve dealt with and continue to deal with, it was refreshing to say the least. I compare the show to an episode of “Good Times” or the “Cosby Show” or even the “The Fat Albert Gang” all those shows…through laughter, reflection and sadness, had a message. Yeah “Good Times” was depressing at times, and the “The Fat Albert Gang” was a cartoon but every show had a positive message…every show. Similar to “Save My Son“, this show figuratively gets in your living room and makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s like a stranger comes in your house and sits right next to you on your couch and the family has to figure out who is this stranger. The more you talk to the stranger the more you realize this stranger’s name is “Truth”. The problem is you’ve not taken an honest look at yourself or what’s happening in your life in such a long time that the “Truth” no longer is recognizable. Well on this show Dr. Perry “ain’t pulling no punches”, it’s the vestibule of “Scared Straight” and if you don’t get the lesson, that’s where you’ll be headed, to prison. A new prison reality is not an episode I want to be in.

How does this help my young brothers?!?! Take lessons from every experience, learn from others mistakes and keep moving. Why follow a doctrine that’s wrong? There are positive examples all around you, there are common sense laws that you need to adhere.  Your parents are usually telling you things, advising you because they’ve done it, sometimes wrong but why not listen to them?! They can tell you what NOT to do.  So many of our young adults think they know it all…YOU DON’T and the quicker you understand that, the more successful you’ll be, I promise. I’m not saying everything on tv is quality television, cause it’s not, but there are some shows that hit home and this show is one of them. I just want my audience to check it out…this is my shout out to “Save My Son”.

Thank you Dr. Steve Perry.


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