I hope this reality TV thing doesn't end too soon. In a way, it serves a useful purpose. Through the artificially contrived set ups we have a vehicle to eliminate the variables in our philosophical discussions about the meaning of life, our purpose in life, and our systems of morality. Good. We also have a way to see our implicit values at work by the nature of the variables that are removed. Also good. And I have a few ideas for shows that naturally cannot be produced if reality TV loses its market share. And that wouldn't be good.
Listen, this first one is good.
I want to call it "Who Wants to Punch a Bastard in the Stomach?" The majority of the hour is going to be video clips and personal testimonial from all the people that the particular Bastard has hurt in the past. Now, this can't be your ordinary garden variety of Bastard. This has to be a Bastard that has consistently made life Hell for as many people as he/she ever met. An arbitrary rule for candidacy might be that twelve people have to recommend that person. Some sort of adjudicator will have to look at the testimony and conclude, this is one Proper Bastard who needs a good wallop in the gut. One of the twelve will be chosen and trained by a professional boxer so that the one punch will be worth it. The climax will of course be the big punch, caught live on camera, and then all the testimony will be shown to the Bastard, who then has to agree to therapy.
But wait, I have more.
A good one for the Food Network might be called Cucina Povera, which means the poor kitchen, but implies that the poverty has inspired creativity. An unsuspecting competitor is visited in the home. No previous warning will be given beyond "don't go on vacation between elevendy something and the umpteenth of the month." The person has to make a five course meal in two hours using only the things he or she has in the fridge and the cupboards at that moment. Let's see what kind of miracles a bookkeeper from Kansas can pull off with grape jam, ketchup packets and leftover fish. The prize should be a remodeled kitchen. That's one I think I could win.
Here's one I just thought of today. Haven't had time to iron out the bugs.
It's called The Customer Service Rep. There are people out there who think that never being satisfied with anything makes them seem powerful and high class. Those are the people who need a visit from The Customer Service Rep. This person reasonably and patiently explains to Sir and Madam Picayune that the tiny scratch on the side of (insert recently installed consumer good here) does not warrant a 25% discount. Then the customer service rep slowly, carefully and reasonably explains exactly how their petty attempt to save a little money and throw their weight around has made the lives of several other people very unhappy. The complainer then is handed several sheets of good quality writing paper and a nice pen and is carefully watched until all the apology notes are written. Thus we have both righted a wrong and taught people what class really is. The thing I haven't worked out is, who wins the prizes and what those should be.
And here I sit, wondering why no producers call me. I've got more great ideas where those came from and an answering machine, and I do return messages.