22 April 2008
What's happened to TV these days? Remember Degrassi Junior High? That awesome Canadian kids show where the issues were raw, the characters real and the accents hilarious? And remeber how the modern incarnation, Degrassi High, was nothing like its predecessor? The issues were dull, the characters boring and the accents…well, they were still hilarious but that's not enough I'm afraid. It was so crap it even managed to, Highlander 2-style, sully the reputation of the original. They even got Snake back as a teacher…Snake!
On the subject of TV, the most blatant oxymoron would have to be "reality television" shows. I've watched them - or attempted to - and there's nothing "real" about them. I have to admit, when I saw the ads for Survivor, I got excited: a group of strangers on an island, forced to depend on their wits, picking each other off one by one. But if you've seen it you'll know that the title - Survivor - is a misnomer, nothing but false advertising. I had Lord of the Flies-type fantasies of sunburned, emaciated Americans setting palm tree traps, beating each other to death and parading severed heads around on pointy sticks, but oh no, that would be too much like real life, wouldn't it? Mob mentality, petty bitchiness and stoning the fat kid to death! In Survivor, no one gets killed, or even hurt (not badly) and where's the reality in that? It's not even entertaining (unless you add wacky sound effects when someone falls over, that's always funny).
None of the plethora of so-called "reality" shows is much like real life at all, certainly not my life. Although they contain elements of real life, there always seems to be a crucial piece missing: they've got sex but not violence; they've got violence but not nudity; they've got nudity but not wacky sound effects.
Fear not, gentle viewers, for the solution is at hand! TV execs take note, I thought of this first: simply follow the well-beaten path of countless idea-stricken TV execs before you and put them all together. My ideal reality show would be to add a little of the current batch of crap reality shows to a whole lot of William Golding's 1954 classic and combine them to create the uber reality show - Kill the Pig. Picture it: a group of plump whiney Americans stranded on an island with only their wits and some dodgy prophylactics from Thailand to get them through. One by one they screw each other (literally, then figuratively) and as the porking turns to stalking, the plumpest, whiniest and least popular members are "voted out".
But, our voting process goes that one step further, pushing reality TV to a level those other pretenders can only dream of reaching. Not only do we vote the unlucky candidate out, we kill them. Then we have sex with them. Then we eat them. Then we run around with their heads on pointy sticks. Now that's survival! That's reality, boys and girls: if someone's not bitching about you or stabbing you in the back, they're trying to screw you or eat you for breakfast.
And don't you dare try and tell me you wouldn't watch it…