2012-01-05 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

You can never have too many reality TV shows, right?

Gary Gould — Managing Editor Gary Gould — Managing Editor Flipping through channels recently, which I do often because I believe I may suffer from an attention deficit disorder, I couldn’t help but notice there are a lot of reality TV shows out there.

Now I’ll admit, I like some reality TV shows. Anything to do with the paranormal, shows about finding lost treasures in people’s garages and just about anything they do down South will hold my attention longer than a commercial break. But I really have to wonder when they’ll run out of fodder for the constant stream of real life programming.

Seeing some potential in the reality TV genre, I came up with a few ideas of my own. Here are a few potential shows they could turn into riveting, true-life television — if they ever get really desperate.

Dog the Ghost Hunter — OK, Duane “Dog” Chapman, and his family of tattooed, testosterone-filled bounty hunters, chase down bail jumpers every week. Dog applies “tough love” to every case, offering his advice to those he catches — after shooting them in the face with a bullet filled with pepper spray. What if Dog gave up bounty hunting and became a paranormal investigator? He’d hunt the ghosts down and free their tormented spirits after offering them a cigarette and a prayer. It’s either that or get Dog onto a makeover show to do something about his ’80s rock band hair, the big sunglasses and his Native American jewelry.

Hillbilly Meth Lab — They have shows about Southern people making moonshine, wrestling gators and hunting wild pigs. Why not a show about the growing methamphetamine problem in the southern United States? You can see how rednecks produce, package and market meth from their homemade labs — and watch every week to see if they blow themselves up.

American Scrappers — I love shows like American Pickers where they travel around the country looking for treasures in other people’s garbage. Well, how about a show featuring scrappers? You know, the guys who go around and strip vacant (and sometimes occupied) homes of every valuable metal they can find — from the aluminum siding to the copper wiring. Every week the scrappers haul their booty to the local scrap yard where — if they dodge the authorities and angry homeowners — they can cash in all that scrap metal for a nice chunk of change.

There’s nothing like living the American Dream.

The Real World: Ciudad Juarez — “This is the true story... of seven strangers... picked to live in a house...work together and have their lives taped... in the most dangerous city in Mexico... when people stop being polite... and start getting real (scared)...The Real World.” That’s the opening lines for a new season of MTV’s Real World filmed in Ciudad Juarez — Mexico’s most dangerous city. Young twenty-somethings partying and whining about failed relationships isn’t the norm for this show. Houseguests have to worry about staying alive while avoiding kidnappings by gangs who want to ransom them back to their families and shootouts by rival drug cartels. You don’t get voted out of this house, you hope to be the last man or woman standing by the end of the season.

I’ll admit, maybe my idea of “reality” TV is a little outlandish, but I guess the point is it really has almost come down to this — hasn’t it?

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