Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Know It Might be Schadenfreude, But I Like It

If you're one of the few US consular officers on the planet who has not yet seen the National Geographic channel's "Locked Up Abroad," you NEED to remedy that flaw.

LUA describes its heroes as "unsuspecting travelers who embarked on what they thought would be a vacation, only to barely make it home alive."  Um, and how do we define "unsuspecting" in English, again?  Stuffing eight pounds of heroin into our underpants at the behest of three young men we met ten minutes ago?  Swallowing a double handful of raw diamonds just before walking through airport security?  Strolling down a road known as the fishing grounds for kidnapping terrorists, hoping to snap a few local-color photos?  You mean THAT 'unsuspecting?'

Madam will not say whether one of her own favorite WTF-were-you-thinking Americans is featured on any LUA episode, but the inevitability of the characters' stumbling/wandering/staggering into disaster is riveting and hypnotic - even more so than the eye-wideningly ghastly decisions made by PMATNBs (people meeting animals that are not Bambi) on the other, wildly entertaining, "How the Heck can I Still be Alive After Doing Something so Incredibly Stupid" programs.  And who said that American TV is going downhill? Not Madam!

What might be best about LUA is the familiarity of the quiet, tremulous-but-brave voices that tell these stories, the voices we know oh so well from answering the telephone at 4:48 PM on any given Friday, with "American citizens services.  Can I help you?"

Pity, sympathize, empathize, even weep a little for the babes in the woods, but still enjoy.


SassAndSweet said...

Hi - If you don't mind I'm going to link to this blog entry in a blog entry of my own... I downloaded Locked Up Abroad off iTunes this week because this posting intrigued me.... 'Tis an interesting show with some crazy ACS cases ... (Although Episode 3 of Season 1 made my cry ...)- Thanks.. Rachel/SassAndSweet (www.sassandsweet.blogspot.com)

Madam le Consul said...

Delighted to oblige, Rachel. Welcome.

SassAndSweet said...

Thank you. Here's the specific link to my post: http://sassandsweet.blogspot.com/2010/08/locked-up-abroad.html

All my best,

- Rachel