Goldfish's Death & Variety Hour

If you had your own reality show, what would it be called?

First, I don’t have cable, which means I don’t have television. New televisions don’t have rabbit ears anymore. I haven’t watched a television show in over two years. I haven’t seen a commercial in nearly as long. Have you any idea how pleasant it is to live a commercial-free life? It’s totally worth not having cable just for that. Although, I do miss The Daily Show. Yes, I know I can watch it online, but it’s not the same.

Second, even when I did have television, I didn’t watch reality shows. I really hate the concept. Hollywood has had a paucity of creativity ever since the writer’s strike in 2007. Although, to be honest, it started well before that, but the strike certainly didn’t help matters.

I’ve already written about my loathing for reality television in the post 10 Things I Hate Part 3: “Some people know every stupid reality show since the Real World. There are people who could tell you every winner of American Idol, but couldn’t name even one Supreme Court Justice. If you want a reality show, go outside. There’s tons of reality all around you. Camp outside a liquor store before it closes on a Friday night and you’ll see a reality show starring drunken frat boys and homeless drunks. If you give the drunks a dollar, I bet they’d even do a dance for you.”

Third, as I’ve already explained numerous times, I really would rather do anything besides be in the public spotlight. I can imagine no worse life than having every move I make recorded, edited, and spewed forth into the ether for the whole world to watch. I am a very private person, with the possible exception of my writing, and that would be absolute hell. So, I don’t want my own reality show. You can have it.

However, maybe I’m being too hasty about this. It doesn’t say I have to actually star in it. I could produce one instead. In that case, I might like to put something on the airwaves that actually means something and does a public service. In answer to another prompt asking what I would do if I were in charge of the world for a day, I came up with this brilliant concept (which was actually slightly borrowed and modified from the film Battle Royale by the masterful Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku):

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“For the good of the public, anyone who makes really stupid decisions on a regular basis can be nominated for a new reality show. Anyone can be nominated, but there has to be proof of repeated stupidity to get on the show, e.g. anyone who has ever been arrested on the show COPS, as judged by an independent and random jury of their peers. If you have enough votes and the jury deems you sufficiently idiotic, you will get on the show where you have to fight to the death with wits and weapons. The last man standing wins the prize of getting to compete again.”

We could open up the field a little bit to include, not just stupid people, but really bad people, too, like pedophiles, murderers, Wall Street executives, pyramid scammers, politicians, etc. Who wouldn’t want to see Bernie Madoff running for his life and ultimately failing?

I think it would get very high ratings. It would be like days of old where the whole town trundled out to the square with tomatoes and rocks to watch a public execution. People love watching other people’s despair and misery, as evidenced by the nightly “news” and the sheer number of reality television shows. Why not take it to the next level and do the public some good by getting rid of unnecessary riffraff along with providing high-quality entertainment? In between all the death, we could have performances by good bands, science facts and intellectual debate. People could edify themselves while they watched. I might actually watch that show.

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