competitive reality shows i'd like to see next

Not that you guys can see the start date on this draft, but it’s about two weeks old. I say this not to point out how long it takes me to write a few measly hundred words (longer than you might think)* but because the whole meme-y quality of the internet, delivered straight to my inbox, tends to make me want to slump on the couch with a bag of salt and vinegar Kettle Chips and early episodes of Screenwipe**because, fucking hell, it’s ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE***

I say this because I’ve been mulling over jealousy quite a bit, of late. Now, I know it’s no longer fashionable to talk about “universals” on any level — perhaps we’re all so caught up in this never-fucking-ending**** spiral of relativism and PC-ness and misguided attempts at empathy — but, Chomskian caveats aside, I think there’s something to be said there.

In an insane attempt to barricade the onslaught of media in my life, I’m trying to be a bit more selective about what I read and watch. Which is great. I’m plowing through some fantastic half-hour comedy shows, reading the scripts of same, and picking up novels I meant to look at ages ago.

All good, there. Except for the jealousy. The stirring fucking anger in the pit of your stomach that this is better than anything you could have thought of, ever. In a million years. A gibbon with ten-key typing, you are.

I just finished the Peep Show scripts. And I’ve harped elsewhere about how great David Mitchell and Robert Webb are, and how the show totally deserves lots of awards and please do check out the DVDs ad nauseum.

Then I read the scripts, and realized that, solidly, 80 percent of what makes that show so good, so painfully right and twistingly insightful, is the words. On the page. Not even spoken, no set dressing, no visuals. No costumes, no facial expressions. No intonation or reaction shots. Just, words. On a page.

That’s the kind of shit that makes you fling things across the room, and not in the way you do with Søren Kierkegaard***** or Ann Coulter, but because it’s at once maddening and infuriating, stellar. It’s a combination of grating obsequious fangirling combined with breathless exhilaration that something this good is allowed to exist in the world at all, coupled with the blind rage that you didn’t do it. Didn’t write it. Didn’t have shit to do with its existence, and can’t do anything besides follow people you admire around Twitter blindly RT’ing them as if that will give you some kind of credibility or in-group status.


That was all a rather long and self-lacerating prelude to this, which was intended to be a list of the other competitive reality shows someone should pitch****** —

  1. Top Barback
  2. Top Dvornik
  3. Top Copy Editor
  4. Top Prep Cook
  5. Top Guy Who Directs the Forklift Driver
  6. Top Invasive Species Removal Expert
  7. Top Metadata Tagger
  8. Top Hall Monitor
  9. Top Food Runner
  10. Top Guy Whose Job It Is To Change the Carbonation Tank on Fountain Drink Dispensers in Convenience Stores

Theere are only so many retrospective clip shows, Real Housewives franchises, and FlavorofRockofLoveofNewYorkRealWorldSinglesBus the viewing public can handle. Not to mention that reality TV doesn’t, really, give you much substance to work with, because nothing. Ever. Happens. Competition shows are pretty much all I can handle, and I find them ever-more draining.  FWIW,  I will still be watching the new Rachel Zoe Project, even though the amount of actual ‘content’ and ‘drama’ on that show is +/- tantamount to this–

I watched Runway at a friend’s the other night. Initial thoughts: Heidi looks great, Selma Blair should have some kind of integrated-content-co-branded-webisode-Garnier-Fructis-special co-hosted by Ina Garten where they fling their shiny hair around. But mainly, I thought, Jesus, I don’t have room in my head for another cycle of manufactured drama, don’t have the energy to invest in sorting out i. who I like as a person (for which read: who gets a good edit and is telegenic); ii. who I like as a designer; and iii. who I like because they are kind of a twat or say funny things about the whole metatextual experience.

Cuz when you think about it, the Wharhol-weirdness of it all makes your head hurt. This whole talking about yourself in the third person because you want to be an integrated brand thing?

Can’t handle that from Kayne, can’t handle that from you.


*Which: true. I’d even go so far as to venture that it affects us all.  Read this blog post on being blocked.

** This is the world where Charlie Brooker is, in due fact, talking directly to me from the television, and it’s okay because we live in a world where that is normal and you only have to venture outside for milk and bread once in a while, and the rest of the time is spent hating people without blackheads and oddly disconcerting lumps in places they should maybe not be and wallowing, pig-like in your own filth and misery and self-hatred. Or, Tuesday.

***This is a little pity-party for one that’s being held in a children’s playhouse from the 1960s and populated only by neighborhood dogs and Barbies wearing birthday hats, and if you don’t like it you can EFF OFF.

**** One of these days I will write a piece about infixes and how they are awesome. ~Shakes fist at sky.~

*****Only until Wikipedia showed me a picture, I don’t think I realized that Kierkegaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard looked quite so much like Pushkin.  Though I guess that hair was pretty Mr. Vaguely High Class European Gentleman from A Place That’s Not France. Like, “The Rachel” of 19th century Europe. But for dudes.

******There were like, 600 footnotes in my senior thesis. Having only six is mind-bogglingly restrained. But here is the link that sent me into a spiral of self-despair, in addition to this subsection of FailBLOG that I didn’t even know existed, since I had been screencaping auto-complete and long tail keywords and considering myself quite clever for paying attention to drop-down text. I’m going to lie down, now.


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