Leonard Pitts, Jr., THE BALTIMORE SUN
(The Baltimore Sun) — Recently, I watched the first episode of “The Briefcase,” CBS’ new “reality” show. I found myself vaguely ashamed for doing so. I kept reminding myself that I had to watch it in order to write about it.
Myself wasn’t buying it. Myself wanted a shower.
It will probably not shock you to learn that your humble correspondent has no love for so-called reality television. Somehow, on the road from “Candid Camera” to “An American Family” to various real housewives of various real American cities, the once novel and seemingly harmless idea of focusing television cameras on the lives of ordinary people curdled into a species of “entertainment” so invasive that the camera might as well be a proctological device.
In that sense, you could argue there is nothing new, nor even particularly noteworthy, about “The Briefcase,” a summer series that premiered last week. Its premise is that a struggling family is given a briefcase full of cash — $101,000 — with the stipulation that they may choose to keep all of the money, keep some and give the rest to a second down-on-its luck family or keep none of it and give the entire fortune to that other family.