TruTV is stepping up with a new game show that will try to solve the debt problem one student at a time . . . with a GAME SHOW.
It's called "Paid Off", and it premieres TONIGHT. It's a question-and-answer-type show where the contestants are young adults in their late-20s and early-30s, who are saddled with significant student loans.
And instead of prizes, the show will reward winners by PAYING OFF THEIR LOANS. It's unclear how that'll work, but it sounds like the amount that the winner gets for their debt depends on how well they do.
The producers actually looked into paying off the loans with the creditors directly . . . but the logistics and tax implications got too complicated. So, the winners will just get a check like a normal game show.
Naturally, this might seem a little DARK to some people . . . especially since the show is mostly comedic. But the show IS self-aware, and they're actually hoping this DOES raise awareness.
Host Michael Torpey says, quote, "[It's] an absurd show to match an absurd crisis. A game show feels really apt because this is the state of things right now.
"I know what we're doing is a little ridiculous, but in a way the show matched my family's story. The only way we could pay off student loans was because I booked an underwear ad? That's insane."
And at the end of every episode he says, quote, "Call your representatives right now, and tell them you need a better solution than this game show."
According to the "Washington Post", student debt afflicts 44 million Americans, with the average student now carrying $37,000 in loans. The total amount owed in the U.S. exceeds $1.3 trillion.
(Here's a preview. Warning: There's some questionable language.)