Texans, Lesbians, and The Briefcase

Watched an episode of “The Briefcase” last night. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a new/summer reality show where “Poor families are given money. They can choose to keep it, keep some, or give it all away” (description from imdb.com). The amount they’re given is $101,000. They are allowed to keep $1,000 and then must decide what to do with the rest. It’s a rather fascinating show to me, but reviews have not been favorable based on the show’s story-line.

Anyway, there are two families involved. Neither knows that the other family has also received money. Their decision rests on information the show’s producers give them, which usually includes the other family’s living arrangements, as well as their financial state.

Last night the two couples included a (self-described) gun-totin’, cowboy-hat wearin’, god-fearin’ Texas Republican and his wife, along with a lesbian, interracial couple (also believers) from Boston, MA  with two black children they had taken in to raise.

Naturally, the god-fearin’ Texan was repulsed by the idea that the family they might be helping were lesbians. I mean, after all (as he put it), God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. (How original!)

I won’t go into detail about how each made their decision on what to do with the money, but overall it included discussions about their family situation related to debt, as well as things they wanted/needed to do for their family but didn’t have the money for. A more subtle factor involved was each individual’s outlook on how far one should go to help others that may be less fortunate.

The reason I’m writing this post is to share the end result of last night’s show …

The Texas couple (you know, the one who felt same-sex relationships were verboten) kept all but $25,000. The Massachusetts (lesbian) couple kept $500 and gave away all the rest.

Let me add … both families had considerable debt. Both families had needs/wants they couldn’t afford.

I found the results, shall we say, interesting. What’s your take?


17 thoughts on “Texans, Lesbians, and The Briefcase

  1. Typical. Republican, christian a-holes hoard the cash while the open minded folks try to use theirs to help others. I’ve an idea for a show like this: Two billionaire christian conservative families are stripped of all wealth and all credit save 100 dollars. Then they’re placed in a poverty- stricken part of a major city and left alone for 12 months with no ability to contact anyone they know to come get them. After the year’s up, we check to see which family survived best. Now THAT’S a show. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting. I’ve heard some conversation questioning the ethics of this show. I’m not sure what to make of it yet. I might have to watch one.

    Who actually gets the money in the end? Like in this case, did the Texans get $177k, and the Bostonians get the $25k that the Texans gave them? Or does the network double dip, so the Texans get $101k, and the Bostonians get the $25k? Or does the network say, “ahh, we were just screwing with you; you both get to keep the $101k”?

    Does everybody lose half of their winnings to tax?

    I wonder how they found/choose the families.


    • No absolute answers, but from what I gather, the families actually get to keep the money (no network double-dipping). It’s pretty much a given the government will get its share.

      My understanding would be the Texans kept $75,000 (not counting the $1000 “free money”) and then they got $99,500 from the lesbian couple, so total received = $175,500.

      The more generous lesbians only got $25,500 out of the deal.

      Quite frankly, it made me a bit sick to my stomach to see the Texans get so much. Yes, they had their “needs,” but it was their immediate reaction (especially the guy) towards the lesbians that immediately set me off. That, and their ongoing comments about how “God” was looking out for them through this opportunity. As I mentioned, the lesbians were believers as well, but they truly considered what Yeshua taught. And then acted on it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Please don’t take it as a cynical remark Nan, but I am sorry to say that I don’t believe that reality stories are real. Since the famous $64.000 question, I cannot help distrusting radio and television shows, so I’m not impressed by the results.
    As an aside, I find it amazing that the Texans granted the Bostonians $25.000, given their profound disproval of “Adam and Steve”. 🙂
    However, the problem itself is a fascinating exercise of the mind! .-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The premise of the show is not one that I found interesting. Essentially two groups of people are paid $1,000 to be filmed and second-guessed as to their choices. I’m not sure of the value in watching it.


    • Probably not what one would call “value.” I just find it rather interesting to watch the human nature side of it. Of course, I admit I must suspend belief to a certain point since, as koppieop notes, reality shows are rarely “real.” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched it Nan. Though I didn’t go looking for it and it’s not something I would watch but I was drawn in by the family stories. The longer I listened the more inclined I was to see it to the end. I actually thought the lesbian couple kept $400. One each for themselves and the two kids? Doesn’t matter. I just remember her counting each one hundred dollar bill four times. After that I probably went into shock.

    Their debt was in the $60,000 dollar range. The Texan couple in the $150,000 range. I do remember that one of the things they wanted was to give their (sister a home as she lived in a trailer). Remember, she made a video that the lesbian couple watched saying how wonderful the Texan couple was and how helpful they had been. I thought then the lesbian couples money was in jeopardy. They go through a 72 hour process figuring it all out including a private visit to one another’s homes. Bills are left out to see, family photos are observed, dead animal head mounts on the wall (Texan couple.)

    When it was all said and done my first thought was, well 10% of that will go to tithes because “God” was so good and all.

    The other thing I found fascinating is, at the start of the program, one of the partners in each couple makes a decision on the division of money. Each couple started out a certain amount would be kept, the rest given away. The lesbian couple increased the amount to be given away, the Texan couple decreased the amount. I think it was the man who chose $35,000 to be given away and the woman made the final decision at $25,000. That surprised me.

    Another thing I heard more than once was the Texas woman saying ‘They’re just like us. We have so much in common.’ Guess she was referring to them being a loving caring committed home with “God” in the picture? I’d be fascinated by the “God” vs. “atheist” scenario. Wonder how that would turn out?

    I hoped as the lesbian couple walked away that the Texas man had a change of heart about same sex couples. He had tears in his eyes. I’d love a follow-up program to see how it all turns out. Does the guy go back to his church and tell them he’s changed his mind and then get chased out of the church at gunpoint? Or is he a changed man for a few days and then back to status-quo?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Zoe for a more detailed scenario of the program! And you may be correct about the $400 rather than $500, which means they got even LESS than I thought.

      I think I forgot a lot of the details because I was so disgusted with the Texans. Yes, they had their debt and their needs/wants — and perhaps when considering both families, they were the ones most deserving. I was probably (perhaps unduly) influenced (and irked) by the attitude of the Texan. True, his wife was more thoughtful and understanding, but it was difficult for me to see past the bluster of the gun-totin’, god-fearin,’ Republican husband.

      I agree … it would be fascinating to see non-believers “pitted” against believers. Somehow I doubt that will ever happen.

      It’s probably wishful thinking that the Texan changed his mind about same-sex couples. Perhaps, as you say, it may have lasted a few days, but once he got back into his church crowd, I highly doubt he would be able to hold his stance. The wife, perhaps, but not the man.

      Anyway, thanks again for expanding on the program and for your thoughts.


      • Well I’d love to be a fly on the wall listening to the gossip or I mean conversation going on in his church when they watch or learn of the show and see the Texan’s tender heart at the end of the show. 🙂


  6. Nan and Zoe:
    I love your thoughts.
    …It’s probably wishful thinking that the Texan changed his mind about same-sex couples…

    In a recent conversation on this topic with a (doubting) Catholic friend, he said, “You may be right, I don’t know. If only the Pope would tell us that it’s allright to accept same-sex couples, I would probably be able to make up my mind”.

    I don’t want to generalize, just telling you that I think that there are an aweful lot of believers who are waiting for the Church to give in. Will that happen in our lifetime?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Federico, I found your friend’s comment spot-on. Those who follow the Catholic religion are much more attuned to the Pope’s declarations about life. IOW, if the guy with the pointy hat says it’s yea or nay (about any part of life), then that’s what the faithful will follow. Whereas with Protestants, it would most likely take a much longer time to convince believers. Especially since the church’s outcry (against same-sex relationships) has been long, loud, and very well-publicized.

      I’ve found that believers tend to focus way too much on the behaviors of others instead of focusing on how they’re living their own lives. If church leaders would spent more time promoting the teachings of Jesus (especially as related to loving others as yourself) rather than the (perceived) morals of society, I think everyone would benefit.


    • Thanks koppieop. Our lifetime? I’d like to think so. I know of some Canadian Catholics who could care less what the Pope says. I think we might be surprised at the number of them that aren’t “Pope” Catholics. Don’t ask me what that means. It just seemed to fit. 🙂


  7. Nan, this leads me to throw in another two cents again. I am unable to make general observations, I can only refer to a few personal experiences, and apologize beforehand if I have told you the below story before.

    During most of the time that these papal elections lasted, we only knew that an Argentine Cardenal named Jorge Bergoglio was a candidate, although he was not one of the most prominent ones. All of a sudden, it ocurred to me to say aloud to a circle of true Catholic friends and relatives: “Hey, Bergoglio is not only an Argentine, he has also been a fellow citizen of ours! [his seminar belongs to our municipality]. So why should he NOT be the next Pope?”. Of course, I said it just for fun, and was doubly pleased that he was indeed chosen.

    But my daughter-in-law, one of the most traditional member of our family, had reacted fiercely, “For God’s sake (pun not intended), let it not be Bergoglio!”. I was surprised, but left it at that, not wanting to disturb her more.
    After the outcme of my “prophecy”, I began to suspect the motives of her firm opposition. But she was unwilling to explain them to me, she only said: ” Too late. You didn’t asked them at that moment, now he is my Pope, and I will do whatever he wants me to do”.

    Thank you for taking time to read my reaction on … believers tend to focus way too much on the behaviors of others…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What I found interesting was when the ‘gun totin’ republicans’ said it is God first, Others second, and Family third. HOWEVER, when deciding where the money was going to go ….. the OTHERS turned out to be ALL family members…. granddaughter, daughters, sister, etc. Not once did I hear that they planned on giving to OTHERS… I mean OTHERS as in people that they did not know. I hope the blank look on his face when Leila said they were keeping $400 was a look of embarrassment and realization that the other couple were truly much much more Christian than they claim to be. In realization, they probably just went home and gave the $$ to all family members and think they are GIVING. They are KEEPING.

    Liked by 1 person

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