China is looking at Fear Factor in the United States and mumbling, "What a bunch of pussies."

Over 40 million people have turned in to watch the reality/ shock/ documentary series with the characteristically Chinese title Interviews Before Execution. Guess what it's about? GUESS!

The show follows and interviews both death row inmates and their families as the "dead men walking" live out their final minutes. I'm all for bloodlust and getting nauseated, but this sounds seriously troubling.

The producer of the channel, Lu Peijin, says that the purpose of the show is to act as a deterrent, claiming, “We want the audience to be warned. If they are warned, tragedies might be averted. That is good for society.”

Those Chinese! They love that whole "good for society" argument!

In case the rationale isn't cold enough for you, the host, Ding Yu (a female) will often berate the subjects in their final minutes, cause, ya know, China. To one inmate she sat down with, she stated bluntly, " “Fortunately, you’re in jail. You’re dangerous to society. You’re shit.’’

If this sounds like your idea of good television, you can't catch the program itself, but there are documentaries on BBC2 and PBS International that I'm not going to link to because I don't think anyone should watch this. (IHT)