I’d like to offer my support to the screenwriters in their efforts to get better pay and benefits. I think it’s great that they’re exercising their right to refuse to work and thereby force the rest of us to face the reality of exactly what kind of garbage would be on television, were it not for talented and skilled people writing great programs.
Of course, we’ve all seen what happens when networks rely on third-rate, marginal performers to develop shows. You end up with crap like “Survivor” and “Big Brother”, and their mindless, irrelevant spin-offs. So while I support the screenwriters, I would also like to offer a note of advice to their bosses on how to improve the mindless garbage we’re sure to be subjected to in the coming months.
First off, “reality television”. Let’s face it, it sucks. There’s nothing less interesting than watching a bunch of insufferable assholes compete with each other to see who can become the least sufferable asshole of the pack. So here are a few ideas to improve it:
- “Survivor”: Should be more like “Survivorman” on the Discovery Channel. Find an island, or a few miles of desert somewhere, preferably as remote as possible, set up secret cameras, then drop every contestant in it alone with nothing but a knife and their clothes. Whoever survives the week gets to leave. At the end of the week the audience votes on which contestant should be rescued from certain death. Teamwork is allowed, contestants who use teamwork to help each other get to leave a day early.
- “Big Brother”: Think “1984” and you’ve got it right. Instead of a nice house with comfy chairs and beds and a common room where the
victimscontestants can sit and plan their little schemes, they each get a concrete cell with a slab bed and a television monitor. Every day they’re waken up at 5:30 for morning exercises, then they get shouted at and forced to do meaningless tasks all day. If they work well they get extra food. Every move is monitored, and discussion is forbidden. If they can successfully band together and plot against the producers to escape, they win. Their freedom. Every week the viewers vote on which contestant to release. The rest “get” to stay in the house.
- “The Biggest Loser”: A show with a good purpose but an insulting title. I’d change it around so that everyone who auditioned for Survivor or Big Brother would be instead shuffled off to a room where a panel of experts (let’s include Simon Cowell in this one) votes on which one had the worst reason for going on the show. That person would be the Biggest Loser.
That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure more will come to mind as the winter drags on and the television gets worse.