Monday, October 24, 2011

Reality for the Rest of Us

For the longest time, I've been annoyed by the Biggest Loser. That doesn't mean I don't watch it--I admit I do--but I do find myself annoyed. Why should these people get special nutrition and fitness treatment because they've let themselves totally go to hell?

And so that got me thinking. Why are reality shows always geared to the extreme?

OK, so it's probably because it's more interesting that way.

But in my head I started concocting all sorts of reality shows that would involve normal people.

Would normal people want to be on reality TV? Have I ever mentioned that The Bachelorette's Trista and Ryan live in our valley? And then there was another girl from here on the Bachelor. There you have our local reality claims to fame.

So anyway, these are the shows I came up with for us normal people.

Medium-Sized Losers. This is targeted at those of us who are just marginally overweight. We need help, too! Wouldn't it be great to be swept away to the Medium-Sized Loser Ranch where someone helps you lose those last nagging 10 pounds? Yes, it would be hard work, but you'd get to totally concentrate on you and get all ripped and awesome looking without having to be morbidly obese as a prerequisite. Sign me up. Even if it means having to endure Jillian (who isn't actually on the show anymore).

The Amazing Sports Race. This race will pit teams of parents against one another as they try to escort multiple children to sports practices or games, and other various and sundry after school activities on different sides of town at conflicting times. Participants will be graded on their ability to run from game to game, often of differing sports, all while remembering what child is where, the rules of the game at each respective event which includes what to yell (Goal! Touchdown! Penalty! Foul!) without sounding like you clearly don't know what sport you're watching at any given moment. Because trust me, people do give you a look if you yell "Foul!" at a hockey game.

Motherhood Survivor. This could also be Fatherhood Survivor or Parenthood Survivor. I chose Motherhood because I am, in fact, a mother. Really, this is the mother of all reality shows. In this show, somewhat like The Amazing Sports Race show, people will compete to have a day run as smoothly as possible. The tasks you must complete are: exercise at horrifically early morning hours, make breakfast at multiple times, pack lunches, pack snacks, walk children to school and/or drive carpool, complete a day of work, remember to eat, plan dinner, go to the grocery store, take out trash, clean a toilet or two, do several loads of laundry, answer recorded calls from political candidates, plan a birthday party, mail birthday cards to various and sundry relatives, perform volunteer work at one or more schools, attend at least one meeting (likely unpaid), run the vacuum, take out the trash, help with homework, nag children not to watch too much TV, get children into bed, read to children, do more work without falling asleep, have some sort of interaction with spouse, read 10 pages of a book without falling asleep.

If you make it through those items, you can go on to the second round whereby you will start adding additional items to your list--things like making and taking birthday treats to school, attending PTA, etc. But that's only if you're lucky enough.

Dancing With the Regular People (DWTRP). I'm going to come clean here and admit that in 2007, I pretty much watched the entire season of Dancing with the Stars. Does anyone else remember that season? That was the one when Heather Mills McCartney was on and I was dying to see if her leg might fly off when she did some of those dance moves. It didn't. What a letdown. But anyway, why is it that the stars get to go on the show, dance with the hot professionals (come ON, you cannot tell me that Maks guy is not the hottest thing ever! Ai yi yi.), lose weight and then have their careers revived. Again with the ratings and the stars. Whatever. Personally, I think it would be way exciting to pluck Debbie from Des Moines and Wilma from Wichita off the streets and throw them onto DWTRP and just see what happens. Everyone has a story and I bet if we got to know Debbie and Wilma and whoever else they dredge up, we'd all love it.

Secretly, I do have dreams of going on the real Amazing Race with Eamonn. And in my dreams he does all of the stuff where you jump off buildings or bungee because I'd probably pee my pants on the way down. And that wouldn't look good on TV at all.