CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's a whole bunch of terrible reality shows premiering and returning this week -- everything from deer hunting on rich people's land to a family of feral pig hunters to fighting over storage units to an adult show choir.
I've had a list of a few terrible reality show ideas sitting on my computer for a really long time now (probably not long after I mined the topic two years ago, actually). With so much awfulness about to hit the air, I thought this would be a good time to dust some of them off and throw them out there:
Dates could include dining on meals off of fast food dollar menus and thrift store shopping for job interview attire. Plus, you won't have to have a special "meet the parents" episode because he'll already be living in their basement.
2. "America's Next Top Reality Star": Many reality show participants try to parlay their 15 minutes of fame into a career, so why not cut out the pretense of doing it for other reasons?
The show's challenges would simulate the real challenges reality stars will face in their struggle to remain relevant once the show ends: how to get their name in the tabloids, the most effective way to attract paparazzi, how to start a feud, where to go for rehab and, most importantly, how to shape their character for future reality shows.
3. "The Amazing Wal-Mart Race": Think these teams on "The Amazing Race" with their globetrotting challenges have it tough? You've clearly never been to Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon.
The goal here would be to make it from garden supplies to groceries with requisite stops at all the store's departments. Challenges could include returning unattended children to their parents, picking a good cart, exchanging opened electronics, navigating crowded aisles with a full cart, finding a working scanner for a price check and having a money-saving extreme coupon showdown.
4. "Tree Huggers": Combine the survivalist and competition genres with this one, which would pit people against each other in a showdown set high above the ground in a redwood forest. The idea is simple: send several contestants to perches high atop redwoods, armed with basics like water, matches, a knife, a tarp and a few freeze-dried meals, and see who can last the longest.
Will they succumb to catching and cooking birds? Drinking their own urine? Conversing with squirrels? Long stretches of isolation can make people do crazy things, so who knows what bizarre behavior might ensue.
5. "Roadside Assistance": We've all seen them, the people along the highway selling everything from firewood to fruits and vegetables to yard decor. But what are their stories? That's what this show would find out.
It would get the back story on the sellers and follow them in their work for a few days to let viewers peer into the lives of people they believe are beneath them. Then, so it's not all about exploiting those we feel superior to, at the end of the show, the people will receive money or other assistance for their business.