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October 6, 2015

FOX orders pilot for Smile, You're Under Arrest

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 4th 2007 12:02PM

Sheriff Joe Arpaio I've never understood the term "guilty pleasure." I figure that if I enjoy something -- a song, a TV show, a movie, etc, I shouldn't feel guilty about it. Yeah, so I have a couple REO Speedwagon songs on my iPod, what of it?

The only TV show that kinda falls into the "guilty pleasure" category for me is Cops. I never make a point of watching it, but when it's on, I can't turn it off. Still, the whole time that tiny angel sits on my shoulder telling me I really shouldn't get my entertainment through the misery of others.

And so, it's with the utmost hypocrisy that I tell you how much I dislike the idea behind the new FOX series, Smile, You're Under Arrest. The series will trick individuals with outstanding warrants into thinking they're being awarded with prizes or money when in fact the police are waiting to arrest them. The concept comes from the brain of producer Scott Satin (Who Wants to Be a Superhero?), who is working with the (in)famous Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff (Arizona) whose tough stance on criminals has garnered him scorn from some and accolades from others.

The series will not focus on violent criminals, but rather those allegedly guilty of petty crimes. In one instance, individuals with outstanding warrants are lured out with promises of being extras in a movie shoot. As Variety points out, this may be a new idea for a reality series, but it's not a new concept for many law enforcement agencies that have been using these techniques for a long time: Fresno authorities once captured fugitives by telling them they had won a lottery.

I think the main difference between this series and Cops is that Cops isn't trying to be a comedy. Yes, there are unintentionally funny moments in almost every episode of Cops, but the purpose of that series is to offer a firsthand account of what it's like to work in law enforcement, not to create some police version of Candid Camera.

What do you guys think?

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Agreed, these people get what they get because they are both greedy and stupid. Any means the police use to catch them is acceptable in my book.

Personally, I find these shows as interesting nuggets of human behavior, just as I find COPS to be the same thing. I never cease to be amazed at the outrageous things people will say or do and think it completely acceptable behavior. The other two shows I watch that do very much the same thing are "Wife Swap" and "Trading Spouses". Talk about some idiotic things people do!

September 05 2007 at 6:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's underhanded about it? It is most certainly legitimate police work. These people have warrants out against them. It is law enforcements job to apprehend them in the most efficient way possible. Using their own greed against them is brilliant. Why waste taxpayer dollars hunting them down when they will deliver themselves? They are hiding from justice. They deserve what they get.

As for the guilty pleasure of it? Sure, I would call it that, but I can't feel too guilty laughing at ones criminal stupidity. Dumb crooks= comedy gold.

September 04 2007 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it's wrong to exploit people, but I'm going to watch it anyway. It's the same thing with To Catch A Predator. They are luring criminals in only for entertainment. Well no, To Catch A Predator is worse because the crimes are more serious and the outcome is much worse.

September 04 2007 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Should I be scared that my first thought about this was of the Dom DeLuise and Jerry Reed classic film, "Hot Stuff" (http://imdb.com/title/tt0079308/).

Am I the only one?

September 04 2007 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it's a disgusting abuse of airtime, plain and simple. what they're doing is BARELY true/legitimate police work and has no right to be on television.

they might be criminals but to glorify and make light of such underhanded policing is shameful... even for Fox.

September 04 2007 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These people deserve what they get. I hope the show gets higher ratings than American Idol or any of that crap.

September 04 2007 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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