Reality TV and social experiments
I’ve always been a fan of reality TV. Sure I don’t own a TV, but that’s just a minor detail that I don’t let stand in my way.
You see, I’m addicted to people like the Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo, the Duck Dynasty clan, the lowlives of The Jersey Shore and those Mob Wives. These people inspire me so much that often I don’t know whether to join the mob, go duck hunting or drive out to the Hamptons to hang out with Kim, Khloe and their sister Kermit. We all need role models.
Let me confess that I’ve always dreamt about having my own reality TV show so I could embarrass myself in front of millions of viewers, make a lot of money and have a worldwide Twitter following... once I figure out how to use the tweety device. My show would focus on my personal interests, which are— let me think about this a minute — spending on myself, arguing with my daughters, mindless chatter and narcissism. Hmmm, maybe I’d better check my birth certificate; with credentials like that, I could be one of the Kardashians. Kousin Kreepy.
Actually, my true passion is yard work. Well, it’s my wife’s passion and I just go along for the ride. Instead of Keeping up with the Kardashians, we’d call my show, Keeping up with the Yard Work.
My plan is to create a series that celebrates the homespun stupidity of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the decadent stupidity of the Real Housewives of Hartford or wherever they’re from. I want to combine the best elements of reality TV. In the pilot, my wife would be yelling at me to cut the lawn and weed the gardens instead of shooting my pellet gun at ducks in my mobster neighbor’s yard.
Or maybe I could do a cooking show like Master Chef, even though my skills are limited to burning toast, burning bagels and burning eggs. I can, however, pour salad dressing. In the show, I’d take my burning skills to a new level and burn down the kitchen and splatter hot grease on the Real Housewives of Bayonne, N.J.
I was excited to see A&E is planning a series that will be taped on Beldon Island, one of the Thimble Islands off the coast of Connecticut. The producers claim it will be a “social experiment with couples that have online relationships and meet for the first time to spend a week together. It sounds a little like Love Boat capsizes off Gilligan’s Island.
A flag on the island says Love Prison, which makes me think the more appropriate comparison is Escape from Alcatraz. The island is only an acre with one house on it, so A&E will probably put sharks and jellyfish in the water to stop people from fleeing.
You never know what will happen in an online relationship. Someone can get arrested or stalked or divorced or have their iPad confiscated by their parents.
Another new show is Married At First Sight, where a bunch of dimwitted young people meet their partners for the first time at the altar and get legally hitched. And you wonder why marriage is on the rocks in America? This show is also supposed to be another one of those social experiments that seem to be all the rage, based on the scientific matchmaking skills of a sexologist, a psychologist and a sociologist. I think they should have included a gastroenterologist, just in case.
I have a better idea for a “social experiment.” Let’s round up the TV producers and lash them to railroad ties and set them afloat in Long Island Sound near schools of jellyfish. The producers would be screaming and whimpering, but the jellyfish would find self-fulfillment.
This would be a “social experiment” to test their tolerance for pain while measuring the happiness level of spineless marine creatures in search of online relationships. Or maybe we could ship them off to North Korea with Dennis Rodman and Miley Cyrus to sell Girl Scout cookies.
Hey, I’m trying to be creative here. Social experiments require deep thinking.
Joe Pisani may be reached at email@example.com.