So I admit it, I watch reality tv. Or perhaps more accurately, I watch people in dire need of therapy parade around in front of a camera behaving in ways that would get any pre-schooler a time-out. Yes, I watch that stuff. Purely prurient, with a dash of arrogance thrown in (good grief, I NEVER would act like that!) and I'm entertained for a while.
But my disturbed little mind also thinks while I watch yet another Bachelorette declare her love for someone she's met in a most contrived way and await the news that *gasp* they've ended their relationship, "but wish the best for each other." What reality shows would I like to create, if I ruled the world - or at least network television?
Big Brother: Christian House I probably don't need to say more, but just imagine tossing a group of super-Christians (the kind who use the word awesome far too much) in a house together. They must battle it out for the prize money. Watch them out-righteous each other. See how many Bible verses they can quote in one conversation. Forgiveness flows like water, until someone feels the pull of Satan and gives into lust. Hold on to your skirts, ladies. This could be a bumpy night.
Survivor: Inner City I am not impressed by people who "survive" on an island with a camera crew, full medical staff, and a stash of food and contact lenses in a locker just out of camera range. I am impressed by people who live in dangerous neighborhoods because they can't afford any safe place to live in states where tenant's rights issues are neglected; mothers who support children on minimum wage;and fathers who struggle to be seen as equal citizens in this land of theoretical equality, but not land of color, ethnic, or money-blindness. So, privileged ones, here's the show: take the loudest and most asinine representatives, senators, and talk-show hosts, stick them in a home run by a slum lord (completely compliant with the laws, though); let them live off minimum wage (give a few of them a record and see if they can even get a job, even if they've fully paid their debt to the criminal justice system); deny them health insurance because they are too poor, too risky, or too sick; let them struggle to find food and pay the bills. The winner is the one who realizes he's been full of garbage during his speeches/talks on the House or Senate floor or on his tv or radio program.
Real Housewives: Smithville Take the ladies from Orange County, New Jersey, and Atlanta and make them work for a living. Something fun, like farm labor or garbage collection. Oh, and they can't talk about: their boyfriends, ex-husbands, men they have/want to date, hair extensions, plastic surgery, which Housewife they hate, parties they've been to, or what happened in their childhood to make them desperately crave fame. Winner gets prize money placed in a trust account for their children's therapy bills. Mike Rowe can host.
American Idol Each week, we watch a young person read above his/her grade level, complete age-appropriate math and science problems, wear clothes that don't suggest a career in the criminal element, and make the world a better place by serving the needs of the least of these. Points also given for an ability to critically think about issues without needing a simple answer, to play outside, and to accept friends of various ethnicities, races, economic levels, and faith traditions. That, my friend, is an American Idol.
The Hills A group of twenty-something actors (well, maybe actor is a bit strong) sit around and talk about things that don't make sense or don't matter to anyone but themselves and become famous for no reason, while the rest of America waits until they fade into obscurity. Oh, wait. That's already a show.