Happy Gobble Gobble

I can count on one hand the number of web sites wishing you Happy Thanksgiving. Then if I multiply that by 10^6 we should have an accurate number.

Ah, but what they don't have is information about soon to be pitched NBC shows; shows in such early stages of development that they are polling the average viewers to gauge reaction on their content.

A while back I somehow got onto NBC's survey list. The email would usually ask what I watched the previous night, what shows I watch regularly or if I've heard of certain actors. Last week I received more of the same but with an added tidbit; 5 pitches for new shows. They gave me the breakdown then asked if I'd watch it or not, if the idea was unique and on what station I expected to see it.

As far as what the shows were, let's just say they weren't going to win any awards.

To a show, the pitches were reality/game show in nature. I almost lost it. (Now Dad, when I say "lost it" I mean "I was perturbed at a very low level, I didn't not do any activities in a huff or decide to yell at a coworker.") Am I the only person left in this great land of ours who really doesn't like reality TV? Who else wishes for more scripts and actors and dialogue and plot twists? Not NBC viewers apparently. The barrel’s bottom has been scraped so bad that I believe we're in a whole new barrel.

I'll give you a run down of the show pitches. I'm sure by doing this I'm violating some agreement I digitally agreed to, but I'm not making any money off this so who cares.

Show 1: Motel Roswell. You guessed it; a family takes over the day to day operations of a motel near the famed Area 51. Their guests include celebrities and alien abductees. I couldn't quit figure this one out. My guess is it's a mix of X-Files meets that restaurant show.

Show 2: Insomnia. This one is simple; take the dance marathon model, remove the dancing, add people who aren't allowed to sleep. I would rather watch Dave Attel but NBC apparently doesn't care.

Show 3: The Gauntlet. Mrs. Invincible mentioned that this was previously a British show, but all I could find was a link to MTV's Road Rules. Apparently this is a mix between Fear Factor and Labyrinth in which contestants are dropped into a maze with dangerous puzzles to solve.

Show 4: Master Blasters. Not to be confused with the giant riding midget of Mad Max fame, this show combines the engineering swagger of Junkyard Wars with the new excitement from Space Ship One of blasting things into the sky. This show will launch everyday objects (chairs, cars, senators) into the low atmosphere.

Show 5: I can't remember the name; we'll call it Survivor 2099. This, heh, far reaching concept drops people in the middle of an alien world and they must use nothing but their wits to return to, I suppose, Earth. Think Amazing Race meets the worst marketers ever.

Seriously, these are the pitch ideas NBC is coming back to its viewers and asking what they think. I wasted no time in telling them they were hacks and should bring Sorkin back to West Wing. I hardly watch TV, but I spend a lot of money on it. So if this is the offerings, I'm going to have to refuse. Lost was pre-empted by the season finale of The Bachelor. I must be in the minority (again) with my TV viewing. I don't watch these Real Single Obnoxious Wife Swapping Makeover Life shows, and I can't imagine why anyone would. They're stupid. The people who watch them are stupid. The people who come up with them are stupid. You're all stupid.

I have an idea, why don't you take the time you waste on watching these shows and go out and make a life of your own? The mind boggles.

Now, there is a difference, I've found, in certain shows. I don't think they have acceptable genres yet, but here we go.

The Secret of the Sphinx. Hitler's Bunker. Wings over Poland. These offerings by the history channel are documentaries. They are real, but not Reality TV. They have scripts, research, narration and usually some facts.

Trading Spaces. Mythbusters. Junkyard Wars. We'll label these shows Hard Hat TV. I don't mind these, they're ok. There's generally something interesting being done, and even if I don't learn something, I can pick up a few hints on how to furnish a game room using nothing but tin foil and wooden daisies.

Fear Factor. Amazing Race. Survivor. I've learned these are called Fantasy Game Shows. I'm no fan of these, that's for sure. There's nothing particularly wrong with them, they are no better or worse than Let's Make a Deal or The Price is Right. Someone does something outrageous or completes a task or answers a question and they win money. Before you had to solve a puzzle with only a few clues, now you have to eat a llama's asshole. Same ol' same ol', right?

The Bachelor. The Simple Life. Wife Swap. These to me are Reality TV. Even though it's extraordinary circumstances that will never EVER happen, they call it Reality TV. So I guess that's what we'll stick to. Reality. You know, because tomorrow you and a stranger could exchange spouses for a month. A Box-of-Hammers could select you out of 25 other people to be the love of their life AND you get 20 million dollars. See? Perfectly average realism.

So the argument is, this isn't reality. If they want reality, they can put a camera in my cubicle for 9 hours. Yes it would be boring and yes it would get canceled. People don't want that. They want adventure, excitement, passion. Just don't call it Reality. That's insulting to all of us who live normal 9-5 lives. Because I tell you what, if Paris Hilton ever came to my office and tried to do my job, it would be Surreal.

There it is. Surreality TV.

Lil Miss Austin fixing Mom and Dad a Thanksgiving day feast at school.

Pilgrim giving Mom the high sign that he's done for the day.

Walking TO Starbucks if fine. Walking back is tiresome.

Someone discovers the science behind reflections.

Morgan, the school hamster, comes home for the weekend.

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