Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Real life stole my fake idea

It should be no surprise to you that I'm not a fan of reality television. There are instances in which real social experiments and reality would be interesting, but that's never what happens. Instead they just poorly script contrived situations in order to bring out the worst in the contestants, as well as the worst in the audience. People watch American Idol not for the singing, but for a mean British guy who makes children cry. I have less of a problem with shows like "The Biggest Loser" (even though people watch that to look down on fat people) because at least they're trying to do something positive.

So it bugs me when I catch myself thinking up good reality show ideas. Really, they're not that hard to do, so I stumble into them sometimes. When I do remember them, I either try to forget them or I keep the idea to use as a fictional reality show when I'm writing scripts.

One idea that I had a few years ago was called "Arranged Marriage," in which reality producers take two strangers and marry them, and film the results. I liked it for fiction because it was good at demonstrating what was wrong with reality tv. It was extreme enough that I didn't actually think anyone would (or should) ever do it in real life.

I was wrong.

This morning I was driving to work and the guys on the radio started talking about a new reality show at CBS called "Arranged Marriage." It's pretty much exactly the idea I had. You can imagine I was a little pissed. I wasn't mad that they "stole my idea" because it's not that original and I'm sure they could have thought it up on their own. I was mad because society has really reached the point where we'll take two strangers, marry them, and film their relationship for the amusement of others.

And what's especially ridiculous is that all those Pro-prop 8 assholes said they were doing it to "defend the sanctity of marriage." According to them people who've been in love for decades would destroy the institution of marriage, but a reality show that strips it of all it's intimacy and uses it to get ratings during sweeps won't cause any problems.

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