Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reality TV

I'm watching a commercial for Big Brother 11. First of all, I'm amazed that this show is still on. They take a bunch of closet-sociopaths who crave fame and seclude them in a house for weeks and watch the fun ensue. Only, it's not that much fun. I don't care if Chad loves Allison but has to boot her out of the house; it's not like they're going to air the sex scenes. But what really bothers me about this show, and all the other reality TV shows, is the low amount of money they offer.

A half-a-million to embarrass yourself and shame your family? On national TV? No thank you. Swim through a pool full of boa constrictors? For $50,000?! I have two words for you. Fuck. And off. To me, the only amount of money to humiliate future generations of my family is one million dollars. This way, when my kids come to me, hanging their heads in shame, I can point to their college fund and laugh.

The only reality show I would consider going on would be Survivor. And I hate that show.
I’ll admit, I watched the first season. I was expecting some Lord of the Flies experience. Weren’t you? I assumed they’d chosen some remote tropical island where no one had legal jurisdiction. They’d set up blood-drenched challenges like “we’ve put food up in that tree, here are some sharpened sticks; who ever beats the crap out of the other team gets it.” I wanted to see someone “voted” off the island with a machete. I wanted to see someone dancing around a fire with a pig’s head on a stick.

I lost all respect for this show when they had the archery challenge. They gave both teams a bow and some arrows and told them to practice for the next day’s contest. And they did! Really, Survivor contestants?! That’s the best you could come up with? I would have pointed my newly-acquired weapon at the camera-man and announced my ransom demands.

Here’s how I would play this game. I would explore under cover of night, searching for the opposing team’s camp. Once it had been located, I would sneak back with my compatriots and some improvised weapons. We would then proceed to beat the crap out of them and tie them to trees. That way, the next day Jeff Probst could look all confused when the other team didn’t show up and he had to announce us the winner. And God help anyone who even thought about voting me off the island! I’d vote them off first, with “extreme prejudice.”

I think, ultimately, this is why “reality TV” doesn’t work for me. It’s really “contrived TV”. That, and I don’t have cable.

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