Because Reality TV needs a facelift: suggested shows from an unimpressed viewer
If you're like most people a little mindless entertainment every now and then is comfort food for the relaxing brain. And nothing gives mindless entertainment like today's Reality TV shows. They saturate the airways, in part I guess from the fact they are cheap to make and not dependent on quality writing or even paid actors. There are a few of these shows I watch from time to time, even one I try catching every week (Sweet Genius). But if I had my 'druthers there would be more diversity in the offerings we can choose from in reality TV.
Because of this lacking diversity I feel the creators of these shows and the network execs are, even as they succeed at the moment, actually stabbing themselves in the backs. They just don't seem able to see the forest for the saturation of trees. But let's be frank -there are only so many shows about chef competitions, barter & trade, car repo, talent competitions, make-overs and faux documentary coverage of drunken sluts and man-sluts the public can digest before we all see how stupid most of these are and just start tuning out..and reaching for a board game or book or gosh darn it, even conversation with our loved ones.
With this in mind I now present some suggestions for new reality shows. In the end the premise of these shows may be as banal as what's already on the air, but at least they're a little different. And any television show execs reading in - feel free to contact me with an offer. I generally work for peanuts and RC Cola :)
#1 Dumpster Divers
Each week the hosts of Dumpster Divers scour the countryside, hunting through trash-heaped bins left out on roadsides, driveways and back alleys. Always in the search of abandoned treasures our dedicated team know that probability is in their corner and that one day they'll stumble upon that one priceless item that will make them super-duper rich..or at least wealthy enough to afford a well-deserved and much-overdue shower.
#2 Hardcore Library
So, you're three weeks late turning in that last Harry Potter book and now want to start the Twilight series? Forget it, scumbag - until you've paid your overdue fine you ain't even walking out the front door without a curt reminder from Lilian the Librarian about your lacking sense of responsible citizenship!
Every week Lilian and the rest of the no-nonsense staff of Hardcore Library shows us the ins and outs of running a public library and how a properly trained librarian deals with lowlifes who know nothing about talking in whispers or showing respect to the Dewey Decimal System.
#3 American Teacher History Bee
Every week competitors face-off for the pop quiz of a lifetime on American Teacher History Bee. Because unlike the colleges these competitors attended our questions are based on real history, and unlike the classes they are paid to teach we don't let the unprepared, unready or just plain ignorant pass up to the next level.
On Stirrups! licensed gynecologists, OB's and other health care providers must show the skills, humanity and warm hands deserving to get the crown of Top Gynecological Examiner. Each week a new batch of contestants have an hour to compete in three initial rounds: the choice of magazines and patient gowns round, the breast exam round and the all-important pap smear round. The two contestants who perform these actions with the most sensitivity toward their patient will go head-on in the final round: making out a prescription in a timely manner. Winner receives a golf cart and the coveted Golden Speculum trophy!
#5 Ramen Soup Genius
The concept of this show began from my own experience as being too inept (and happily so) to cook anything besides Ramen Noodles. Competitors go through three rounds: the spicy Ramen Noodles round, the Ramen Noodles and Ketchup round and the left-over Ramen Noodles round. As host and judge I personally get to taste the contestant's creations and score these on visual quality, taste and skill with salt and pepper.The last chef standing takes home the envious title of Ramen Soup Genius. This title comes along with prizes sure to elate the winner's family - a dinner for eight at Texas Roadhouse and a year's supply of KFC coupons.
#6 Atheists vs Believers
With each episode of Atheists vs Believers an outspoken dogmatic atheist confronts an equally outspoken zealous religious believer in a back alley. The first to beat the crap out of the other wins. Although this show doesn't award cash prizes the winners walk away -barring any broken legs, of course- with a sublime sense of know-it-all snugness. AND by taking their conflicts into the alley it cuts down on rabid exchanges of intolerance the rest of us are confronted with every day in blogs, hubs and forums.
#7 Gas Price Wars
On Gas Price Wars contestants must up the price of gas while maintaining customers in an excitement-filled business challenge. This show weds the thrill of corporate competitiveness with the joy of seeing your neighbors have to sell their souls in order to get to work and back. The weekly winners of this show receive a week's vacation in beautiful, sun-drenched Iran and a tee-shirt that reads, A Greener Planet Starts With Your Poverty.
#8 American Cougar Pickers
Twelve older beauties with refined personalities and classy manners. Twelve good-looking single younger men with penchants for mature women. A mansion with pool, spa, hot tubs galore and a wine cellar. Is there a plot? No. But there's also no camera time devoted to the exploits of some fugly guy ripping off his shirt at the drop of a hat or following the resident loud-ass around as she gives out unwanted dating advice. With American Cougar Pickers its just all about the downright unwholesome, taboo fun that will have your Grandpa shaking his head in disgust and Grandma staying up to watch once he's in bed and sawing logs.
#9 Feline vs Goldfish
This is the cute one of the lot, a nice show designed for the entertainment of the entire family.
Each week Franz the American Short-hair visits a home or residence where goldfish live. Franz's goal is to catch his dinner straight out of the bowl without falling in. If Franz is successful it means Feline WINS the day. If he fails it is a win for Goldfish and poor Franz is stuck with nothing but a platter of dry, tasteless Kitty Kharms cat food for his meal.
Its an adorable premise, don't you think? And by watching Feline vs Goldfish kids can get away with saying -and in mixed company, no less- things like, "There's something fishy about that short hair!" or "Hey, Mom, how about putting on that wet pussy show?" and not get slapped..probably not anyway.
#10 Dumbest Antics by Elected Officials
If watching World's Dumbest Crooks and similar shows are getting a little stale, this show is sure to please your voyeur's funny bone. With each weekly episode of DABEO viewers get to watch the most outrageously stupid antics committed by our elected officials, all real and caught on hard-to-dismiss-or-destroy film! And be sure to catch the anticipated Mother's Day special dedicated entirely to the hilariously crude, rude and socially irresponsible shenanigans of Congresswoman Maxine Waters!
#11 My Probably Fatal Side-Effects
My Probably Fatal Side-Effects gives a stark look at people dealing with the side effects of the latest prescription drugs that make pharmaceutical companies and kickback-taking doctors the prosperous professionals they are.Tune in to see the real life suffering of patients coping with prescription use of drugs hailed to combat everything from insomnia, smoking, gout, erectile dysfunction, cholesterol and even old-fashioned athlete's foot. Watch as concerned family members try to step in and help the patient, just to be thrown into jail for intervening on the doctor-patient relationship. See patients succumb to reoccurring nightmares, compromised organs and rare malignant complications that could have easily been avoided. Witness the psychologists discuss their sudden plunge into deep, dark depression. Listen as the deputies discuss the football score while they investigate the scenes of the suicide. Hear the coroner comment on how the deceased would still be alive if they'd just not filled the prescription. Watch as the grave diggers take bets on which impressionable family member takes up residence in the next plot. Dramatic real-life stories; even more dramatic real-life profits for those who make and prescribe the drugs!
#12 Pundit Catfights
Opinion entertainment, whether on TV, radio or blogs, can be interesting, but let's face it: the excitement factor is pretty disappointing when you know there isn't going to be any hair pulling or clothes ripping.And don't be quick to judge me as a sexist -yeah, I am a sexist but I also happen to be female. I see straight through the pompous, frigid demeanor most of these lady pundits put out. The truth is most of these opinionated lionesses would give their eye teeth to tear into females touting an opposing view, and appearing on Pundit Catfights gives them just that chance. Winners take nothing home, but the male viewers -and some female viewers- come away with a satisfied after-glow feeling of relief.
#13 Old Hippy Makeovers
Competitors on Old Hippy Makeover are an easy-going bunch and really don't care how good they look on or off camera. Just as long as peace rules, music fills the air and no one takes off with the 'shrooms or bong they can be painted top to bottom in mascara or mescaline and everything's groooovy.
#14 Tyrants and Tiaras
Tyrants and Tiaras showcases the competitive world of pageantry, as the nation's most elite families have their female members judged on beauty, narcissistic personality and an amoral disregard for throwing money away on costly clothes and jewels while the rest of the nation stagnates in the muck of recession. Yeah, I know, this scenario already goes on but without TV how can these disadvantaged ladies hope to compete against Beyoncé and Angelina Jolie for front page placement on People magazine?
#15 He, She or It?
Every week on He, She or It? four contestants are seated with hands tied behind them and must determine correctly if the guests giving them a lap dance is a male, female or hermaphrodite. The winner of the initial rounds goes on to the Blind Round where they are allowed only a whiff of the guest's armpits in order to make their final guess. The right answer wins this finalist $10,000 - but if they fail to guess correctly they must spend a day as Lady Gaga's foot masseuse! Riveting, fascinating and just like the two-headed snake exhibit at the fair something you have to see at least once in your lifetime.
#16 Bizarre & Federally Approved Tasteless School Lunches
On BFATSL Rory Miller travels the United States, stopping to sample some of the strangest prepared lunches in schools across this great land. Rory's interest in uncovering disgusting crap disguised as food has led him to some strange and sometimes inhospitable lunchrooms. But Rory is a brave adventurer and plans to use the knowledge gained by his strong survival instincts for the good of mankind when he becomes President and does away with the Federal School Lunch Program altogether.
#17 Wally World's Wild Kingdom
Wally World's Wild Kingdom takes viewers across the globe where some of the world's strangest dressed beings are studied in their natural shopping habitat. As the show highlights the real life tribulations of these untamed beings viewers witness how they compete to survive against rival herds, torrential crowding and lengthy cashier-deficient lane seasons all the while retaining their noble dignity in the forbidding and exotic world of Walmart.
#18 Man vs WE tv
In each weekly installment of Man vs WE tv three straight men are locked together in a den with an adjacent bathroom -without reading material- and only a television for company. The television is set on the WE tv network and the actions of the contestants are monitored by a video camera. The male who survives the longest without turning the channel wins -going home with 10,000 dollars in cash and dinner for two at their favorite sports bar.
#19 Tax Men
Each week Tax Men viewers are taken into the air-conditioned arena of the IRS headquarters where these government employees diligently track down individuals who may or may not owe money to Uncle Sam. Viewers get a first-hand look at how the Tax Men decide who among the middle or working class will fall under the audit ax by the dangerously reliable method of opening a phone book and blindly selecting a name. We learn how the Tax Men industriously pursue small business owners who seek to harm the class warfare environment by playing by the rules. We see the Tax Men diligently work to to ignore back taxes owed by the most prosperous and influential CEO's who use the Buffet Rule to divert public interest away from their dividends profits. An exciting, educational show sure to satisfy the interests of the public..and admittedly one that would require an absolute miracle to get on the airways.
#20 Subliminal Cook-Off
If we just have to have another chef/cooking reality show how about something a little different? On Subliminal Cook-Off contestants compete to make the most subliminally creative 3-course meal. Each course is judged by a panel consisting of two porn stars and a Pentecostal minister who has the ability to find perverse symbolism in every episode of the Veggie Tales show. The winning competitor takes home a prize of $10,000 and choice of trip for two to either Las Vegas, San Francisco or a Pentecostal millenialist training camp.
#21 PODS - Piracy Online Detective Squad
On PODS viewers are taken into the shady underworld of piracy online, as Detective Bill Sneed tracks down the most outrageous copyright infringers on the internet - and we don't mean folks downloading movies or music but jerks who re-sell entire books and artworks created by people without the strong arm of Hollywood or the music industry at their back. Bill receives no money for his detective work but he does get the satisfaction of seeing pirates squirm. And that's a good thing since his next ebook is titled, The Pirates I Helped to Imprison, which will continue to be sold at a reasonable price... until Hollywood buys the movie rights, of course.
#22 Reality Show Addiction Intervention
There are few things as pitiful as addiction spinning out of control, and few things that mesmerizes audiences like seeing an addict fall, headfirst, into a downward spiral of abject and hopeless oblivion. With RSAI viewers watch as family and friends try to intervene where common sense has failed and pull their loved ones out of the black void of reality show addiction. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes depressing, this show shines a revealing light on the travesty of temptation, with an uplifting message that recovery is possible. But most of all for viewers this show demonstrates the awesomeness of sublime irony as can only be found on television.
this Hub ©May 6, 2012 by Beth Perry
With thanks to Dick and Wynona for your continued support and the laughs! This is dedicated to you :)
More by this Author
Now I'm not a huge television watcher, but when I do watch a show the last thing I want to see or hear is an annoying, offensive or plain stupid commercial. You know, the advertisement junk that truly puts...
Program PITA's: TV's 20 most painfully annoying characters of all time.
The 25 Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time (a viewer's list)