It’s far too easy to heave a heavy sigh of irritation, frustration, consternation, or any other -ation you want to list when it come to shows like 60 Day In since the premise behind the show is that innocent people are willing and ready to thrust themselves into the penal system to see just what it’s like and what goes on in the average jail. What this means is that they’re willing to give up their way of life for 2 months to see just how the rehabilitation of prisoners is going and what the conditions are like inside for those that have broken the law. So many people want to cry over those that are behind bars for things that they’ve done that this show has gained ground and even seems to be on the verge of being picked up the UK for a remake, but the insanity of it is that few if any ever seem to regard the implications of a show like this and what it fails to truly show the people that are watching. For those of us that have ever been jail for even a day or two the reality of it is that the people that are in jail are typically there for a reason, and while rehabilitation might be a possibility, the act of filming inside a jail is still a dangerous and very ill-advised act that is more for entertainment purposes than anything.
Do you want to know why this show might be considered fake? Here are a few ideas.
The ethical nature of the show is astounding.
It’s astounding that anyone can say that there’s anything ethical about it. Innocent people are being put in jail with convicts that have committed everything from theft to rape to possibly murder, and while many of those convicts are housed in different pods it’s still an issue concerning the thought that at any moment one of the innocents could say the wrong thing and let the secret slip. Imagine the chaos that might be created if an inmate found out that the person they were bunking with was a plant and took offense. Some of those inmates have nothing to lose as they’re going to be in for a long, long time. This is essentially risking the lives of those that don’t have a clue what they’re getting into, if it was real.
The danger is simply too telegraphed.
Anyone that’s ever been behind bars will tell you that there are moments when things can get dangerous, but thinking that the cameras will catch it all and will always be there when the stuff hits the fan is kind of naive. Most inmates would gladly tell you that in situations that get dangerous enough to be deadly the guards are usually nowhere to be found right away, and instances in which people are taken behind walls and around corners to be dealt with aren’t going to be filmed without the camera crew being assaulted as well. So the inherent ‘danger’ that’s being filmed in this show is heavily edited and given over to those that can make the clips feel as though the people inside are genuinely in fear for their lives.
Some of the actors got a little too into their roles.
While it’s a psychology major’s dream to see something like it’s also highly dangerous for the plants to really engage with the inmates and try to learn and apply their tactics since it runs the risk of them offending the wrong person or people and possibly having to get down and dirty while they’re on the inside. But this won’t happen for a couple of reasons. One, no one that’s innocent is going to do anything illegal while on the show, and two, the whole thing is basically scripted and made to appear as though the plants are ‘going native’ so to speak. The eye-rolling thing about this is that many of those that are innocent know next to nothing about what it’s really like to be in jail for a long period of time. Even if their attempts to make alliances and fortify their positions in the pen were real, they’d be dealt with in short order by the real gangs within the prison, and the show would likely be in big trouble for letting things go too far.
The biggest reason of all that this show is fake are the cameras that are virtually everywhere. When they’re off the prison goes back to the status quo apparently, but while they’re on very little happens, which is why the editing team is necessary. This show is meant to somehow glamorize and demonize the prison system all at once while also providing entertainment to the masses. If you want to watch a prison show then find an action or dramatic movie or TV show to watch. You might actually learn more about what it’s like on the inside.