Channel 9’s new reality show exploiting the inspirational

The Briefcase premieres on Channel 9 on Monday.
The Briefcase premieres on Channel 9 on Monday.

CHANNEL 9's latest reality TV offering blatantly pulls at your heartstrings, and uses vulnerable families to do it.

The Briefcase puts Aussies who are "doing it tough" in a moral dilemma they should never have to face.

Thinking they have signed up for a show documenting how they make ends meet, the families answer the door to find a silver briefcase filled with bright red stacks of $20 bills - $100,000 worth.

It's a life-changing amount of money, but the gift also comes with a letter explaining that the family must choose how much to keep, and how much to give to another deserving family.

In each episode two families have three days to decide how much to keep as they receive more information about the other family.

But they don't know the other party is in the exact same position.

If each family gives the other everything, or the same amount, then they're all winners.

The part where it gets messy is when one party gives more than the other. The real clanger is they must decide before they meet up, meaning they can't change their minds after they discover what the other family has decided to do.

It's a dangerous game of "who deserves it more".

Episode one features a sheep farming family who lost nearly everything in a bushfire two years ago, and a young mum who is in dire need of new prosthetic limbs after losing her hands and feet to a bacterial disease.

Haven't these people suffered enough? Why do they need to shed even more tears for our prime-time viewing?

Nine and the production company could just tell us their stories and give each family $100,000. It would be a feel-good exercise but probably wouldn't deliver ratings.

To the families' credit, they handle the dilemma with generosity and grace.

Somewhere in The Briefcase are the elements for a good show, but instead it is exploitation hiding behind heartbreaking back stories and inspirational people.

What I can't figure out is why Nine would commission its own version of a show that tanked in the US and was cancelled after just six episodes. One critic from went as far as to declare it the "worst reality TV show ever".

I don't expect the Australian version to do much better.

Topics:  channel 9 entertainment reality television

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Next generation of yogis learn in the Lockyer

TUNING IN: Sarah Weber runs her kids yoga class once a week, each term from her Cura Life Studio in Gatton.

Yoga teacher Sarah Weber shares the benefits of starting yoga early.

All's Wells for Madi after third national silver medal

RISING STAR: Lockyer District Athletic Club's Madison Wells celebrates her latest silver medal success with mum Sharyn and dad Lee in Melbourne.

Madison Wells won silver at the Australian Multi-events titles.

Bid on hot cross buns to help raise funds

GOING HOT: The Old Fernvale Bakery aim to raise $40,000 for the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital by donating $1 from every pack of hot cross buns sold. Pictured here are Lyn and Bill Rose with the latest hot cross bun creation, cranberry, pistachio and white chocolate.

Help the Old Fernvale bakery get over the line.

Local Partners