Halfway Home – The Mental Health Reality TV Destination

April 12, 2012 Alistair McHarg

If you’re anything at all like me, looking for something to watch on TV is not so much a matter of choosing the ideal option as it is determining the selection that’s least revolting.

I remember a day when there were just three competing major networks, a few ridiculous UHF channels that showed Godzilla movies, and Public Television, which nobody watched. That was it. (This was before PBS became cool. Back then their only program was hosted by a lonely old man in overalls who showed viewers how to make birdhouses.)

The explosion of options seemed to usher in a new age of video entertainment. There are now 100s of channels competing for the viewer’s attention and amazingly the vast majority of programming is what is euphemistically referred to as “reality TV” – which means, in English, programming that will never contain anything even remotely associated with reality.

Today, you can be immersed in shallow misrepresentations of all sorts of lives including: the wretched drug-addled remains of rock “musicians” and those unfortunate enough to be related to them, exterminators, crab fishermen, ex-cons who escort pit bulls, midgets riding miniature tractors, fat campers, pathological hoarders, competitive eaters, and sewage farm attendants…among others.

And so I survey this landscape of hideous refuse and deep within me swells yet again the furious resentment which can only be felt by those who have suffered beneath the cloud of stigma following me and my fellow whackadoomians and I ask – If they have time to showcase every last scrap of humanity down to the very bottom of the barrel why oh why have they no room, no time, for the mentally ill?

Are we so very odd, foreign, strange, frightening and off-putting? Oh for Pete’s sake, yes a bit, but certainly not nearly as creepy as Gene Simmons!

I believe America is ready for a reality sitcom about mental illness. In fact, I’m so certain of it that I’ve scratched out a thumbnail which I’ll soon be using to work up a rough treatment comprehensive enough to get me a pitch lunch at an outdoor café in L.A. where they serve 7 different kinds of imported mineral water. Here it is.


Thursdays on Fox, the quality network, it’s Halfway Home – the must-see reality TV destination viewing experience that asks the question – What happens when you take a random group of mentally ill people dealing with radically divergent disabilities, cram them into a tiny, redecorated gas station and tell them to fend for themselves? Hilarity ensues, and you’ll see it all!

Meet Brad – he’s schizophrenic, with a difference. He only hears the voices of recently deceased stand-up comedians! It’s wacky!

Betty Lou and Bobbie Sue are always up to something. One’s a sadist and one’s a masochist; they’re made for each other!

Antoine, the janitor, likes to pose as a psychiatrist – some of his advice is just plain silly!

Think you’re having fun now? Wait until you watch a rogue’s gallery of paranoids, rage-a-holics, obsessive control freaks and passive aggressive vegetarians try to delegate dinner responsibilities! It’s a hoot!

Halfway Home. Thursdays on Fox – the quality network.

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2012, April 12). Halfway Home – The Mental Health Reality TV Destination, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

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