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PBS to remind viewers how good they have it with Victorian Slum House reality show

(Image: Wall To Wall Media Limited)

Though it’s probably not a thing that happens in real-life too often, there’s an old sitcom trope where someone decides that their family is taking their cushy lives for granted and takes them to “the bad part of town” or some similarly scary situation, with American Dad and The Office putting their own little spins on the basic concept. Here in the real world, things often seem like they’re getting pretty shitty, so to show us how (comparatively) good some of us actually have it, PBS has decided to air a five-part reality miniseries event called Victorian Slum House.

As indicated by the rad name, a press release says the show is about “a group of modern-day families, couples, and individuals” leaving their real lives in order to recreate what things were like in London’s East End between 1860 and 1900. The participants will be “faced with the virtually impossible task of earning enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table,” forcing them to “experience first-hand the tough living and working conditions endured by the millions that made up the urban poor in Victorian Britain.”


Victorian Slum House—which could be the name of a really hardcore British rap album—will be the latest in a tradition of PBS-backed reality shows about modern people living in old-fashioned houses, joining the likes of 1999’s The 1900 House and 2002’s Frontier House. Who knows, if PBS manages to survive the Trump administration, maybe there’ll even be a reality show where people from 2117 try to live the way that we do now. Then those coddled jerks from the future will learn just how tough it is to live in 2017.

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