My Week 254: I Invent More Reality Shows and Alex Trebek Hosts Them

Lately, Ken and I have been consumed with watching reality shows. No, not reality shows like The Bachelor or Big Brother, which we have never watched because, let’s face it, even if you like those shows, you have to admit they’re pretty dumb:

The Bachelor

Bachelor Guy: I was going to give you a rose, but then you ate sushi in a weird way.
Girl: I’m so sad now.

Big Brother

House Guy: I was going to save you, but then you ate all the sushi.
Girl: I didn’t eat all the sushi. It was Bob! And he ate it in a weird way!
House Guy: Bob! I might have known. You are evicted!

And please bear in mind that I have NEVER watched either of these shows and just made the previous sh*t up based on what I’ve seen on Twitter. I have no idea if I’m even close.

Ken and I, however, have been watching these very avant-garde-y reality/competition shows. The first thing we really got into was Forged in Fire, where 4 blacksmiths faceoff against each other to create knives and daggers and swords and whatnot. In the first round, they have to make a weapon and then test it on stuff like dead fish and sheep carcasses. Then it’s narrowed down to two finalists who go back to their “home forge” to create a super-weapon and isn’t a HOME FORGE the most incredible thing that you could possibly have? Like, “Hey honey—I might be late for dinner because I’m making a giant f*cking sword in my HOME FORGE”. Anyway, it’s a very cool show, with a judge whose only job is to attack things with the contestants’ blades and then say, very proudly like a happy dad, “Your blade will cut. Your blade will kill.”

The newest show we just watched on Netflix is called “Blown Away” and it’s a glassblowing competition, which might sound kind of tame, but BELIEVE ME, it’s very awesome and also the glassblowers get quite bitchy with each other. It started with 10 competitors and every episode there was a challenge, with one person “blowing the judges away” (I’m sure EVERYONE is glad the word ‘away’ is in there) and one person being sent home for being an utter disappointment. Spoiler Alert: I’m going to give away the ending so don’t read this if you’re planning on watching the whole season. In the last episode, it came down to Janusz, a very experienced glassmaker who was very technical and talented, and Deborah, a rather nasty person who was not quite as talented, but who talked a good game. They were tasked with filling a gallery space with something “immersive”, whatever the f*ck that means. Janusz did a whole series of pieces on climate change and hope for the future, and Deborah made a giant fried egg, a frypan, and a bunch of very phallic sausages. The judges were struggling with the whole thing, but then Deborah cried and said that her piece represented the way she’d been marginalized her whole life and SHE WON. With BREAKFAST. And there is literally a petition on Change.org to award the $60 000 prize to Janusz, so you can tell how much people were into this show.

Which got me to thinking. If I could create a new reality show, what would it be? Here are a couple of thoughts. Also, for the purpose of this post, Alex Trebek is the host of every show, because he is the best host of everything and I love him.

Show 1: Tanked

This show is a fish tank decorating competition. Every week there’s a new theme.

Alex Trebek: All right, contestants! This week’s challenge was “The 19th Century”. First up is Donna. Tell us about your tank, Donna.
Donna: Well, Alex, I tried to capture the essence of The Industrial Revolution by pumping coal dust into the water. I think I killed all the fish, but the concept is pure.
Alex Trebek: Interesting. Bob, tell us about your tank.
Bob: All my fish are wearing bustles and bonnets. It’s a signature 19th century look.
Alex Trebek: The judges have made a decision. Bob, please hand in your scuba diver ornament.

And take the corset off that scuba diver, damn it!

(*It’s been pointed out to me by a couple of people that there was already an American reality show called “Tanked”. I’d never heard of it, but apparently it aired on the channel  ‘Animal Planet’. To clarify, their version was about INSTALLING giant fish tanks; mine is about DECORATING little fish tanks. Plus my show has Alex Trebek while their show’s hosts got divorced and the show got cancelled.)

Show 2: Stick It To Me

In this show, the competitors have to make everything out of popsicle sticks.

Alex Trebek: All right, contestants! This week’s challenge was “Iconic Buildings”. Donna, what happened here?!
Donna: Well, Alex, I tried to recreate the Eiffel Tower, but as anyone who’s ever participated in a team-building exercise knows, popsicle sticks aren’t stable at great heights, especially when all you have to attach them together is masking tape.
Alex Trebek: That’s a shame. Bob, tell me about your structure.
Bob: I built a scale model of the Globe Theatre.
Alex Trebek: Didn’t the Globe Theatre burn down?
Bob (*lights match ominously*): That’s right, Alex.

This is how the Great Fire of London started, Bob.

Show 3: In the Bag

Who doesn’t love homemade purses?

Alex Trebek: I don’t understand what I’m still doing here.
Mydangblog: You’re the host of a reality show that I made up about people creating purses out of everyday household objects.
Alex Trebek: But–
Mydangblog: Shhhh. Everything is all right. Just ask about the purses.
Alex Trebek: So the challenge you were given was “purses made from clothing”. God, this is dreadful. Donna?
Donna:  I cut the bottom off the sleeve of a sweatshirt and hemmed it, adding a piece of cord. It’s now a cute satchel.
Alex Trebek (sighs): Bob?
Bob: I made a cunning “manpurse” by cutting the legs off these jeans and hemming the thighs. You can wear it as a fanny pack OR a courier bag.
Alex Trebek: Can I please go back to Jeopardy now?
Mydangblog: OK, but I want to be an answer in the Potpourri category, like “Who is a funny Canadian blogger?”
Alex Trebek: You mean “Who is a WEIRD Canadian blogger who keeps breaking the 4th wall?
Mydangblog: I’m good either way.

Is that a wallet made out of a tube sock?

We now return to our regular program.

My Week 194: I Pitch Reality Shows

Last week, one of my colleagues was excited. “What’s going on?” I asked.

“I’m getting a new desk! Apparently, this one is the ‘most worn’ in the office, and the guy from Procurements said they had one downstairs for me. They’re bringing it up later, so I have to clear everything off this one.”

And of course, we all gathered around, breathless with anticipation, speculating about exactly what the new, wondrous desk would look like. Fancy? Woodgrain? A hidden drawer? The possibilities were endless. Finally, late in the afternoon, the door to the secret agency swung open, and two men appeared with a cart. On the cart was the EXACT SAME DESK that my colleague already had. They disassembled hers, and put the ‘new’ one in place, with all of us watching in a rather dejected way. It was EXACTLY AS WORN as her previous desk, which was now being taken downstairs, to await the moment that Procurements would use it to replace someone else’s ‘worn’ desk. Aside from our abject disappointment at this debacle of musical desks, there was one bright moment when one of our group mentioned that we could improve things slightly by adding a touch of décor to my colleague’s cubicle. As we got more and more carried away with things like a disco ball, twinkle lights, and a chair with cup holders, it occurred to me that there was the definite possibility for a reality show here. I have no idea how to pitch anything to the HGTV network, so I’m hoping that one of their producers will somehow read this and make it happen. Thus, I present to you several ideas for fantastic reality shows, starting with…

1) Cubicle Wars:

Host: Hello once again, and welcome to Cubicle Wars, where each week, two co-workers compete to see who can create a stunning office space with little more than a $50 gift card to the Dollar Store and their own imaginations! Let’s meet our challengers! This is Jill, a temp worker with a fondness for frogs, as you can see by the many, many statues and stuffies that she has on her desk. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Jill!
Jill: Frogs are amphibians and can speak 7 different languages.
Host: Only one of those things is even correct! Welcome, Jill! And now here’s our other contestant, Josh. Josh is an engineer, so no one knows what he actually does!
Josh: That’s not true. I—I…
Host: Exactly! Now here are your $50 gift cards. See you next week, you crazy kids!

One week later…

Host: Let’s see what Jill and Josh have accomplished. Our live studio audience will then announce the winner!
Audience (which consists of a panhandler that the host found in the lobby): Does anyone have spare change for coffee?
Host: After the show, Stinky Pete! First up is Jill!
Jill: I used my $50 to buy aromatherapy candles and placed them strategically around my cubicle.
Host: That’s it? How many candles did you buy?
Jill: 50, obviously. It was the Dollar Store.
Manager (passing by): You can’t light those, Jill. I told you, it’s a fire hazard.
Jill: FINE, STEVE! But don’t come to me when the power goes out, you fascist!
Host: All right—let’s see what Josh has done. Ooh, a tiki bar theme! Very nice! I particularly like the inflatable palm tree.
Josh: Thanks. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out, although I’ve been getting a lot of side-eye because of the torches. THEY’RE CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE, STEVE! I’M NOT A NAZI!
Host: And now it’s that moment we’ve all been waiting for. Audience, who is our winner?!
Stinky Pete: Is there any whiskey in the tiki bar? NO? Then I pick the candle lady.
Host: Congratulations, Jill. Your prize is that you get to keep all the candles!
Jill: I just want my frogs back. Vlad was teaching me Russian.
Host: See you next time on Cubicle Wars!

Welcome to the office!

I really think this show has potential. And while I was fleshing it all out, here are some other show ideas I came up with:

2) Souped Up!

In this show, two guys take cheap cars and try to make them look cool. With VERY limited resources.

Host: Tell us about today’s project, boys.
Gary: It’s a 1988 Ford Tempo, base model, beige, with rust accents.
Mitch: We got it for fifty bucks at a yard sale. The upholstery smells like cheese.
Host: And what are your plans for this car?
Gary: No spoilers!
Host: Oh, sorry I asked.
Gary: No, dude—we’re not putting a spoiler on it. Spoilers are pretentious.
Mitch: You’re goddamned right they’re pretentious!

The next day…

Host: Wow! What a transformation. Tell us what you did!
Mitch: We found bigger wheels at the dump and put them on the back. Now it’s slanty!
Gary: We used duct tape to make racing stripes. I probably should have used a ruler.
Host: Um…did you put a tow hitch on the back of this car JUST so you could hang a fake scrotum ornament off it?
Mitch: You’re goddamned right we did! We made it ourselves out of two oranges and one of Gary’s gran’s old kneehighs.
Both (highfiving): Our car has balls, b*tch!
Host: All right then. Join us next week when Gary and Mitch transform a Pinto into a fancy lawn tractor!
Both: Unsafe at any speed!

3) 19 and Counting: Feline Edition

Voice-Over Intro: “Meet Meredith, a ‘cat lover’, who roams the streets of her town at night, looking for more cats. She has a LOT—maybe more than 19 but who’s counting? None of them are actually hers; she stole them all from her neighbours. Her house reeks of urine, but she insists she’s ‘not crazy’. You be the judge!”

4) Cooking With Wieners

This show is simple. It’s just hot dogs. Every week. Audience of at least one (Ken) guaranteed.

5) Flip That Port-a-Potty!

While you might be thinking that this is a decorating show where people take old portable toilets and pretty them up, you’re wrong. This show is about Bobby “Flip” Johnson, a real douchecanoe who waits until people go into port-a-potties, then he sneaks up and tips them over. He’s killed in episode 3, and the remainder of the season becomes a detective show, where a slightly Asperger’s detective and his madcap female sidekick investigate Bobby’s murder. Kind of like Jackass meets Elementary. Will we ever find out who killed Bobby? No spoilers!