Last night I capped a day of watching a load of films on television – Footloose, Big, On the Buses, the Likely Lads (which I loved, great dialogue), See Spot Run (I know?!?) – with my son Bailey, by watching an episode of the American series, Cheaters.
I’ve watched it for years, always preferred original host Tommy Grand. Over the years have seen hundreds of couples torn apart by betrayal. I’ve also seen the host stabbed by a ‘cheater’ – was that staged though?
The first ‘fly on the wall’ series I seem to remember was ‘Cops’, which still runs today. It was very hard-hitting, all the more so because it was obviously real, and certainly, unlike many ‘reality’ shows today like Made In Essex, did not have scenes set up for entertainment.
Cheaters is a bit like a guilty pleasure; I am by nature very sceptical and over the years have believed some scenes are indeed set up but in many cases the pain and anguish of a betrayed lover is all too evident and real, and that sometimes makes me feel as if I’m intruding on a private moment, which of course I am, and of course all the audience. The cheated partner though has chosen to go on international television though and this does make one question their motives. It’s the same of the Springer show and the awful Jeremy Kyle, who has recently started a similar show in the States, trying to break that market.
Why on earth would any woman admit in front of millions of people that she doesn’t know who the father of her child is? Unbelievably many women do not know who the father of their child is, or perhaps do and yet have kept it a secret, for various reasons.
There was last week a case in Conwy in North Wales of a woman who had led a man to believe that he was the father of her daughter. He had contributed thousands of pounds to the daughter’s upbringing. The daughter wasn’t his; he wasn’t her father. How devastating must that be, to find out after many years that the child you have raised, have believed to be your child, isn’t. In most cases I believe it doesn’t change the relationship between the child and ‘father’ but the knowledge of the betrayal, the lies that the mother must have told over the years, must be something that obviously shatters all trust.
The mother in the case in North Wales has quite rightly been sent to prison for fraud and deception. What about the daughter though? Did she believe the man to be her father? How does she feel now? Some people are so selfish that they simply don’t consider the consequences of the actions. We always tell our kids – “Do the crime, do the time.” Take the punishment, deal with the fallout, don’t try and blame other people or make excuses.
In Cheaters the excuses for infidelity are sometimes laughable, if they weren’t so hurtful to the person’s partner. People never fail to amaze me; to be honest I guess that I hope they never do. In creating characters for my writing I delve deeply into human characteristics, and their shortcomings, and it is fascinating.
We are all just human after all.
This song highlights just that – Eric Carmen – Boats against the Current.
“and it seems we’re all just human after all, and we’re both taking a fall”