Sitcoms, once a window into middle-class America, have been invaded by the uberrich. But the bourgeoisie hasn't disappeared from the small screen entirely: They're fighting each other on reality shows for big bucks or their 15 minutes of fame. And, Salon's Heather Havrilesky notes, it's not a healthy trend.
Shows like ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" may condemn the well-heeled miscreants they depict, but they make average Americans feel inadequate in comparison. And as the recent subprime crisis shows, buying on credit isn't always a sound way of keeping up with the Joneses.