Three times in the last year I’ve been approached by TV people about doing a reality show.
I know what you’re thinking: What the–? I pretty much asked the same thing, though I think it’s safe to say it speaks more to the dearth of new ideas in reality television than it does to my wearisome existence making compelling viewing. Think Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp come to rural Virginia only somehow lamer.
And you thought Tersea flipping over a table on Real Housewives of New Jersey was exciting. Well, how’s this for conflict: Will mild mannered Jessie choose a hard boiled egg over poached? Will rascally Solha hip check June and send her flying into the bushes again? Will workin’ man Jake ever take off that damn cell phone holster?
The show will have to be called something like The Aryan Agrarians or Everything Will be All White Bread. Coming to an obscure cable network near you (check the channels in the 800-900 range).
The most compelling aspect to these proposals is the language producers use to pitch the idea. Never do they call it “a reality show,” suggesting even they know how tawdry it is. Instead, they call it a “docu-series” or “non fiction programming.” The point, I suppose, is to massage you into signing on for what sounds like Masterpiece Theater but is really more like The Littlest Groom or Tool Academy.
I admit, I entertained the first of such proposals for about a week. Visions of Kardashian millions pranced and sashayed before my eyes. I too would like my own line of towels at Kohls, perhaps a line of exercise DVDs, maybe a cocktail mixer emblazoned with my face. “Think of it as a stepping stone!” I said to Jake. “This could be our ticket to the big time, baby! You could have your own line of cell phone holsters!”
And then I thought what it would actually entail having a camera crew trail us around our small town — accompanying me to Kroger, descending on June’s preschool, joining us at friends’ houses for some manufactured bitch slapping and table tipping. We would become monsters–either real or staged, and at a certain point, it would be impossible to tell which was which. Our daughter would become a pariah. People would hate us. Friends would abandon us. We’d most likely divorce. I’d embark on a Kate Gosselin-like beauty transformation. Jake would bolt for Canada. Solha would book a one way ticket back to Afghanistan. I’d appear on Dancing With the Stars. And I’d eventually ask myself, Was it all worth it? Was it?
Depends on if it resulted in my own line of towels.