Since my pursuit of a traditional computer geek job has been about as successful as Paula Jones’ television boxing career, I’ve decided to expand my horizons and offer my creative talents to one of my favorite things in the world. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there thinking, “Reality check here Omar, nobody is going to pay you money for your stupid Taco Bell song!” I’m not abandoning my dream of writing meaningful burrito music, but rather putting it under the warming lamps until the right customer comes along to order it. In the mean time, I’ve decided to offer my creative talents to television networks in the form my new high priced consulting service.
How high priced? Well, lets just say I’m booked solid through the next 5 television seasons. Yes, I know that has absolutely nothing to do with my fee. My goal here is to alter the traditional logic of supply and demand by creating the perception I am incredibly busy. If anyone wants to actually pay me money, I’ll have a last minute and suspiciously convenient cancellation in my schedule. Hey, it worked wonders for Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo, so I don’t see why the same principles can’t be applied to my life.
As much as I would like to, I can’t just say I’m a high priced television consultant and have the networks start shoving hundred dollar bills down my pants. So, to demonstrate some of my talents I’ve decided to put a few of my creative visions on the Internet so the network executives can feel comfortable when handing over briefcases full of money.
My first recommendation is for the Fox network and show “King of the Hill”. While this has proven to be a moderately successful animated cartoon, turning the show turned into a live action situation comedy for a season or two would improve ratings in the key demographics. Which, of course, is the “eighteen to thirty year old short attention span but attracted to anything that gets labeled as gimmicky” group.
Getting back to the “King of the Hill” proposal: Finding actual people who look and sound like the cartoon characters might be a challenge, but the end result would be worth the effort. After a full season of using live actors, other mediums could be considered. This includes—but is not limited to—claymation, Japanese Anime, interpretive Irish folk dance, and, of course, marionette puppets.
When MTV decided to stop playing music videos and instead started filming a house full of unemployed whiny people a lot of viewers were quite upset and annoyed—especially those interested in watching actual music videos. While this approach is exactly the opposite of what many “idealists” thought a cable channel called “Music Television” should be doing, the producers unknowingly lit a fire under the bandwagon of “reality” television and proceeded to give it a healthy shove down the road of good intentions.
Shows such as “The Real World” created a lucrative market for doing little more than going around and filming people in their daily lives. As the competition increased, the gimmickry factor was pushed to it’s limit. To succeed in this genre of television programming these days require, at an absolute minimum, a tropical island, a half dozen Playboy Bunnies, a medium sized team of professional pyrotechnics, and the threat that some or all contestants might lose one of their kidneys. And that is just for the promotions.
The next logical step in this progression is to have a reality show ABOUT reality shows. The title of the show would need to clearly identify itself with its predecessor—current working titles include “The Really Real World”, “The Meta Real World”, and “MTV’s Sex-o-rama Voyeur Cam.” Imagine all the creative potential in having a television crew following around the original television crew following around five young adults in their jobs as entry level accountants. Just kidding—they would really be in an elite group of disco rollerblading fire fighters patrolling the streets of a major metropolitan area.
Finally the general public could get a glimpse into the high paced world of reality television programming. Sure, it may look easy, but getting these kids to open up to the cameras can be a real challenge when they spend most of their free time discussing delicate issues such as the best way to download pornography from the Internet and planning spontaneous week long free trips to the Bahamas.
Making television not suck cannot be accomplished by any single person. We all have to do our part and work constructively together to accomplish this goal in peace and goodwill. If someone wants to go track down and savagely pummel the guy running around in the question mark suit explaining how to get free money from the government, well, I just can’t see how that would do the world any harm either.