Decadence (TV series)

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Decadence: The Meaninglessness of Modern Life
Decadence Title (Screenshot).jpg
Opening title screen
Genre Documentary
Presented by Pria Viswalingam
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Producer(s) Pria Viswalingam
Production location(s) Australia
Running time 26 minutes
Original network SBS
Original release 6 December 2006 – 10 January 2007

Decadence: The Meaninglessness of Modern Life is a six-part television documentary series commissioned by SBS Independent and produced by Fork Films. The series is hosted by Pria Viswalingam, who is best known for his work on the travel show A Fork in the Road.[1] Decadence was originally broadcast on the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) of Australia in 2006 in the form of six, thirty-minute-long episodes (including advertisements). It was re-screened again in 2007 as part of the SBS season on globalisation.

The series examined the decadence and meaninglessness of modern, western life.[2] It is also posed the question: 'If we live in such a great and prosperous world, and we are living longer, better, and healthier than before, why are we so unhappy?' There were interviews with prominent experts and leaders in their fields throughout the series including John Tirman, Cardinal George Pell, Avner Offer, Susan Greenfield, Phillip Knightley, Kishore Mahbubani, Noam Chomsky,[2] and John Spong.[3]

Episode guide[edit]

Episode One: Money[edit]

Part one examined the growing greed of society and the 1980s ideal that greed is good. It also looked at the growing disparity between rich and poor.

Featured interviews[edit]

Episode Two: Sex[edit]

Viswalingam interviewed New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney about the extent to which many cases of rape have become particularly violent and gruesome, and asked why sex crimes are growing in number in society. The link between violent pornography and sex crimes was also examined in this episode. A medical ethicist Dr. Amin Abboud noted that sex had been trivialized and needed to be placed back into the context of emotional connections and intimacy and that sex should be rediscovered as part of love. In an interview, Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach[1] stated that modern relationships collapse when people lose interest in the sex and that sex has become the sole measure and importance in a relationship.

Episode Three: Democracy[edit]

The nature of modern democracy was examined in this episode and the question was asked, 'Do we really live in a democratic world any more?' The erosion of democracy, media control and the use of public money for advertising was reviewed.

Featured interviews[edit]

Episode Four: Education[edit]

The continuing undervaluing of an education in western society was considered. The lack of government funding for primary and secondary education was reviewed. There was discussion about the transformation of universities from great learning places into businesses competing for students' money, who only want a fast-tracked easy course into a high-paying career.

Featured interviews[edit]

Episode Five: Family[edit]

The modern western family was discussed, as is what really is a family in the west. The gradual decline in the importance placed on families and the disintegration of the idea of a family and people preferring isolation was reviewed.

Featured interviews[edit]

Episode Six: God[edit]

The nature of religion and religion in western society was reviewed. The growing number of irreligious people in Western countries was considered and it was asked whether this had any effect on our happiness or morals.

Featured interviews[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Molitorisz, Sacha (4 December 2006). "The Tribal Mind: Excess at any price". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Galvin, Peter (30 November 2011). "Review: It's the end of the world as we know it". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Viswalingam, Pria (1 December 2011). "Fall of an empire: this is as good as it gets". The Sydney Morning Herald (Interview). Interviewed by Sacha Molitorisz. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 

External links[edit]