Cockroaches, supermodels, and gay men – flip on the television this fall and you’re bound to come across at least two of the three within any given hour. And not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing – anyone who doesn’t find the harsh critiquing of the Fab Five even minutely amusing obviously has a few screws loose – but I don’t think I’m alone when I cry out that Hollywood really needs to lay off with all of this reality TV nonsense before one of us finally loses it and goes Survivor on their asses…
Now before I get too far into this, it should already be widely known that I’m a fan of reality TV, or at least I used to be! I’ve watched every single episode of every single season of Survivor (with the exception of the first season), like most other guys, I get a huge kick out of watching women freak out around rodents and large insects, and I’m even really digging what this whole Queer Eye for the Straight Guy-deal is bringing to the screen – for the first time, the mainstream is getting to see that the gays (as they like to be called!) aren’t all diseased and scary, and can actually be quite entertaining when given the opportunity! That having been said, just as there’s such a thing as too much chocolate (Welcome to Zit City!) or too much sex (Ok, maybe not with this one…), too much reality television is definitely a big problem these days and something needs to be done soon before the entire schedule is cast out of people just like you and me!
Reality TV was a brilliant and unique form of programming several years ago because it was presenting something that, other than with MTV’s Real World & Road Rules, had never been seen before. These were shows that existed without a script, without a cast that had any previous experience whatsoever, and yet they worked out for the best and were actually quite successful…so what happens when one guy starts cranking out gold and is caught by the rest being very successful? Suddenly overkill isn’t even a harsh enough word to apply anymore and every Tom, Dick, and Harry within a mailbox’s reach of Hollywood has their own suggestions for a new hit show, and sadly enough, many of them are actually getting airplay to this very day! I was watching a special on this the other night and heard that the networks receive something like 25,000 submissions every day – do you have any idea just how much crap that adds up to?!
And the truly scary thing is that what we’re seeing on TV every night is the very best of what these people received! That’s right, sleazy men and women who are more than happy to manipulate each other for a million bucks, housemates that are willing to stab each other in the back for a million bucks, college students that are willing to eat their way out of a vat of lord-knows-what for a million bucks – these were the good ideas! Apparently for a million bucks, your average American Joe is willing to do just about anything, on live television even, with little to no shame, and that fact alone has got me scared silly about what we might be seeing here shortly in the future…
Sensation Station – Contestants identify various sounds and smells in New York City’s Grand Central Station while blindfolded; whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins the chance to navigate a Double-Dare-style maze throughout the station for cool prizes!
Sumo! – Office professionals, secretaries, and other high-rise-bound individuals are pitted against champion Japanese sumo wrestlers for a chance at cash & prizes.
Buried Alive – Players from all walks of life compete to find out who is willing to be buried in the most bizarre of substances, with the winner having the opportunity to be buried in an actual grave, casket and all, for one million dollars.
Who Wants to Write a Reality TV Show? – Writers pen up their own ideas for upcoming programs, the best of which are bought off for only a fraction of what the networks will actually profit from them.
Hey, That’s My Baby! – It’s the classic game of roulette modernized for the working mother, as parents are challenged to identify their own children from a pool of similar babies. The winners walk away with a combination of cash and savings bonds for the child, while the losers are immediately whisked away by Child Services until foster parents can be arranged.
And all of those ideas took me, like, fifteen minutes to come up with! It’s a sad world when folks like me are actually considering exercise as an alternative evening activity, but until either some drastic changes are made to that programming schedule or I actually end up earning a million dollars myself, then I’ve got no choice but to buckle down and find something else to occupy my free time!
Hey, did you know that there are already a lot of other people going outside at night? Maybe somebody should make a show about that…