The Hollywood Reporter recently gathered a motley crew of reality show producers and stars to discuss the ins and outs of reality TV. Most interesting: Jersey Shore producer SallyAnn Salsano and Dr. Drew Pinsky got into a conversation about the effectiveness of psychiatric evaluations on these sorts of shows:
Salsano: It’s hard for us, too. Part of it is, people don’t realize what goes into the preproduction. Like casting: No cast ever goes on my show unless I personally do an interview. I interview every person.
Pinsky: Let me just say, the psych testing that is done routinely on reality TV is worthless. They are worthless. They’re good tests, done by good people, but we don’t even know what we need to measure to put people on a reality show.
Salsano: I actually find it helpful.
Pinsky: From a medical standpoint: worthless. I got a profile of [Celebrity Rehab participant] Steven Adler and they’re like, “You cannot deal with this man, it’s impossible, he’s going to kill himself.” But I’ve already got him at the hospital, he’s my patient, what are you talking about? I take care of him everyday. It’s not a problem. Give me something useful about what’s likely to happen with cameras [around]. But no one knows.
Then, Kathy Griffin, who was also on the panel, asked whether these producers do drug tests. SallyAnn revealed that they do for the Jersey Shore, and also test for STDs. That’s when talk of herpes came up.
“The network requires me to do stuff with my patients that has no relevance to anything. Like everyone on the set has to take [herpes medication] Valtrex,” Dr. Drew revealed.
“We hand it out like M&Ms!” SallyAnn said. “‘Hey kids, it’s time for Valtrex!’ It’s like a herpes nest. They’re all in there mixing it up.”
(h/t Reality Blurred)