Reality TV shows: some people love to watch them; others would rather have their eyes poked out with chopsticks and served on rice to Rupert Murdoch.
Do I fall into the second category? No, I leap into it and pull it around me, looking out for impending chopsticks.
For a start, it’s not real, because, as a wise woman once wrote, “Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.”
In fact, “reality” TV is about changing reality. It makes people dress differently; or compete to marry a millionaire who’s too dim to find a bride by himself; or eat disgusting things like eyeballs on rice.
Are we getting to the part yet where, despite these misgivings, I share some reality TV ideas of my own? Yes, dear readers, we are.
It’s time for a change, pet
Does your beagle need a facelift? Does your piranha need veneers? Has your Norwegian Blue got unsightly lines due to pining for the fjords?
“It’s Time for a Change, Pet” is the makeover show for you!
Each week, three lucky animals will have their feather flaws, their scale conditions, their fur issues and their fat deposits ruthlessly pointed out to an audience of millions, after which a Band-Aid will be slapped on their wounded psyches in the form of a few minor “improvements.”
They will then be pathetically grateful to you for taking them home and letting them live out the rest of their lives in peace. Even the piranha will be trying to bring you your slippers.
Who can’t be bothered to give a damn? Who never pulls a weed, cooks a meal, runs an errand, soothes a child, or does even minimal grooming? Which potato wouldn’t get off the couch if the house caught on fire?
Who’s the laziest American of them all?
This is one competition I’d have a chance of winning if it weren’t for my sad habit of blogging, tweeting, and writing books. Oh, and minimal grooming: I do that. And cooking, but only when I’m hungry.
Okay, there is no competition I have a chance of winning.
I’m a celebrity, get me on a steer!
At last, a program that combines the great American art of the rodeo with a bunch of sad “celebrities” you’ve never heard of!
Remember rap artist M&Ms? Of course not, so let me refresh your memory:
“I like my choc’lit the darkah the bettah, Ah don’t mind if it gets my mah sweatah, light Ah’m not diggin, it’s too girly, won’t make your love-pump big and burly.”
Won’t it be fun to see him try to rope a calf? But not as much fun as watching Candy Apples, girlfriend of a football player you’ve also never heard of, mistake Simon Cowell for a bull and press her red-hot branding iron firmly onto his thigh.
Strictly go prancing
This program features marginally more famous “celebrities,” including politicians, in a contest to see who can learn to ride horseback the fastest. In a post-Republican-campaign special, Cain will canter, Gingrich will gallop, Perry will prance, and Huntsman will hunt, pursuing a specially trained, left-leaning Democratic fox.
In the second episode, they’ll be given horses.
Meanwhile, Romney will be vowing that he could ride more conservatively, while Santorum tries to ascertain whether any of the unmarried horses are having sex.
Whatever you’re doing, Big Sister has done it better. Big Sister knows all, sees all, hears all. She has experienced everything before you and had a lot more fun doing it than you ever will.
Big Sister will give you advice when you don’t need it. She will tell you stories when all you want to do is go to sleep. She will borrow your dolls because she’s lost hers and then she’ll lose yours. When you complain, she’ll say that only babies play with dolls; what she was doing with yours was acting out Hamlet.
But give it time, little ones. The day will come when you can put on a fake “caring” voice and say to Big Sister, “I know you can’t help it, darling, because you’re older than I am, but maybe a reality-show makeover program could help you with those wrinkles.”
TV producers: I’m available!
Give me a call! I’m got more ideas. Good ones! Much better than yours!
Have I mentioned that I’m a big sister?
“Reality is the leading cause” quotation by Jane Wagner, from Lily Tomlin’s brilliant show, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” which I was lucky enough to see in 1988.
All images courtesy Wikimedia Commons.