Aug 9, 2012

Post-Olympic Reality TV Alternatives

I haven't been watching the London Olympics. It's not that I don't thrill to the thought of sports that I fondly remember failing at school carnivals (how is triple jump even a thing?), it's more that I'm just a really unpatriotic Australian.

What I have been keeping a watchful eye on is the sheer volume of promotional advertising for post-Olympic reality TV programming. It's an important time for the networks - there's going to be a huge hole in people's viewing schedules, and it's important they pack it full of tasty yet unfulfilling dross faster than Usain Bolt can pole-vault his way into the diving record books.

I've been studying the form guide, and feel a few of these shows aren't quite hitting the hot button as firmly as they could. So please, read on, as I present some alternatives. I fully expect the TV networks to be breaking down my door when they feast their eyes on my smorgasbord of sizzling suggestions.

Show Based on a Song Title With "Dance" In It

Everybody Dance Now is some sort of replacement/supplantation of So You Think You Can Dance?, which I can never watch because it makes me feel depressed about not being a lithe 20-year-old breakdancer. So-called "Dance Masters" Kelly Rowlands and Jason Derulo are going to pit dance acts against each other to win the popular vote, and ultimately the competition. Model Sarah Murdoch will host, no doubt showing off a series of increasingly urban hairstyles.

To go a two-step further, Dancing on the Ceiling, inspired by Lionel Ritchie's 1983 pop epic, will see teams of dancers strapped into harnesses, strung upside down, and forced to perform complex choreography while fighting the blood rushing to their head. If they faint, they're automatically eliminated.

Its sequel series will be based on Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit Dancing in the Dark, in which crack teams of dancers will perform in a pitch black lighting state. The audience basically takes a guess at which ones they liked the most/which ones got injured the least. It's hosted by Australia's favourite model Miranda Kerr, which is great because she'll just be in the dark the whole time which means WE WON'T HAVE TO LOOK AT HER RELENTLESSLY BLAND EVERYTHING.

The thrilling finale.

Show Based on An Old Show That We All Hated

Channel Nine is the Olympic broadcast partner, so it has the most audience to lose come the close of the Closing Ceremony. Its great big daring idea? Rehashing Big Brother, the original new-millenium reality show that Channel Ten mercifully put a bullet into back in 2007. It's a stunning coup.

In my programming schedule, we will see dynamic new take on the surveillance reality genre, with contestants forced to interact despite strong differences on key issues....  ...ah f*** it, it's just Order in the House with some fancier graphics and montage highlights of politicians sitting around talking about nothing. But the audience voting out contestants component could prove controversial.

Show Based On Australian Movie

Channel Ten is set to give us I Will Survive, a competition featuring 12 rugged blokes retracing the steps of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, all for the chance of a Broadway gig. The presence of buff dudes in short shorts aside, I fail to see how the competitive angle of this will work.

Frankly, if you want to explore the Australian Outback with a true reality bent, then you should plump instead for my delightfully terrifying alternative: Head On A Stick: The Real Wolf Creek. Hosted by - you guessed it - John Jarratt, Head On A Stick will pitch 12 British backpackers against each other in a battle of survival supremacy.

Initially drugged for their arrival on "set" (read: a large expanse of country somewhere outside Coober Pedy), our victims contestants will be forced to fan out, find supplies and shelter, and avoid a knife-happy psychopath intent on adding them to his "Wall of Corpses". With his penchant for cutting the spinal cord in a time-honoured Vietnam War tradition, the winner will literally be the last one left standing.

The thrilling finale.

Show Based On a Significant Letter

Channel Seven is busting out The X Factor again, and their saccharine promos have really leaned heavily on the singing portion of what is actually a broader talent competition. They're trying to cash in on the success of The Voice, but what they should be doing is creating a point of difference.

The Y Factor, however, will be a crossover phenomenon. Crossover in the sense that all competitors will be made-up to look as androgynous and sexless as possible. It will be up to viewers to try to determine who has that elusive "Y Factor"; that is, which of the competitors are in fact blokes. Imagine the fun you'll have at home trying to work out which of the contestants are just in poor lighting, versus which ones are actually maintaining a tuck manoeuvre.

Show Based on Gender Stereotypes

You've obviously heard the news that men as a gender lack any sense of style or decorum, particularly when it comes to the important moments in one's life. Channel Ten's Don't Tell The Bride seeks to capitalise on this, by offering couples $25,000 to fund their wedding - but only if all the key decisions are made by the groom. Hilarious! We all know that we just can't trust the menfolk with anything important, like a f***ing wedding, can we ladies? God forbid you ask them to choose bonbonniere or pick out a colour theme for the reception. You might as well just cut off your head and die right now than have your special day ruined by your pig-ignorant, clueless, untidy git of a husband-to-be, whom you're marrying because you.... um... respect them?

Whatever. Let's bring the sexism circle to a full close with my alternative show: Don't Tell the Underpaid Female Employee! Bosses are given $25,000 to distribute in pay rises for staff - but have to figure out a way of paying their male workers more than their equally-qualified female colleagues - without those power-suited femmo-Nazis finding out! Ruh-roh - is that an official complaint to HR? You lose, boss. Except you don't because your fed-up female staffer will probably leave while you get to keep your job. But you've, like, learned a lesson and stuff.

The thrilling finale.

I honestly am an ideas factory, people. How am I not earning my riches from all this creative gold?


  1. I would gleefully tune in to any and all of these shows, but I have an adverse allergic reaction to 'reality'.

  2. But we don't have a show based on ads on air at the moment.

    Even better someone could do a competitive ad show -- hire the Gruen team they will be cheap coming from the ABC, sms voting (getting people to pay for ads to be aired), the ad agencies work for free to win at ADComp and whoever wants to be advertised pays you to be the target of the ads. Money from all 3 sides. Who said traditional media was dead.

  3. Hahaaha interesting ideas...Don't think they'd work as well in practice as they do in

  4. I actually L'dOL. I did.