In Victorian society, upholding a facade of moral purity was important. Behind closed doors any kind of depravity could be indulged in, but all that was kept firmly out of public sight. If they’d had TV back then, they would probably have banned The Moment of Truth, a Colombian format that is sweeping the world, and now Finland!
Each week a contestant walks into the studio and answers a series of embarrassing personal questions to win a cash prize. To call their bluff, a pre-show lie detector test is administered. What comes out is the ignominious true face of humanity. Thus the appeal of the show is easy to understand. Seeing the poor saps spill their guts on their darkest personal secrets makes people feel better about little digressions of their own, which they’d rather keep under the lid.
Casting the first stone is the way to prove one’s own purity, so gasps, grunts and a whole lot of tsk tsk’s are heard. But what really troubles viewers about the show is how it brings to light the seedier side lurking in all of us. By dishing out their dirt out of greed the competitors break an untold rule about keeping that stuff neatly tucked away. Luckily, punishment is swift. Jobs are lost, families are broken, people are labelled for life, all just because someone came clean on TV.
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