I was watching TLC the other night and saw several commercials for “Craft Wars”. For those of you who have enough of a life to have avoided seeing the commercials or TLC itself, allow me to describe what this craft competition show will apparently be about.
Three contestants are given crafting supplies including all the hot-glue sticks and glitter they could ever hope for. Then, the host says “Your time starts…NOW!” The crafter-contestants, who by their very existence make me feel like a superior life form, all scramble across the set to get to the bins of crap that they’ll be making “crafts” out of. This is essentially the same format that’s used on shows like “Top Chef”, “Design Star”, “Chopped”, “The White Room Challenge” and countless others. As if watching these scrap-booking, swatch-pasting zealots isn’t bad enough in and of itself, the whole thing is hosted by
massive has-been mega-talent, Tori Spelling! The description above was gleaned from my having viewed a 30 second commercial several times, while I was busy watching some other inane offering on TLC.
It’s truly effortless to sit here and complain about what passes for entertainment these days. I mean, they make it so easy. So I sat down to write my rants about just that, but then a deeper thought occurred to me. With the recent celebration of Father’s Day, I was reminded of what my Dad used to say;
“Turn off that damn idiot box and go cut the grass, dammit!”
Oh wait, wrong Dad quote. He also used to say;
“If you’ve got a problem with it, then come up with something better or shut the hell up!”
Good point, Dad (My Dad didn’t actually curse that much, but I sure as shit do). I put on my thinking cap and came up with some programming ideas of my own. I’m going to email these ideas to TLC, NatGeo, HGTV, Bravo and A&E. They’ll be welcome to use any and all of my ideas without having to pay me a dime, but I do want the title “Creative Consultant” and a link to my blog in the opening and closing credits. Here we go:
America’s Next Top Mortician - Three morticians are given a challenging stiff to prepare for a viewing and funeral. They will each have a fixed number of hours to fully prepare the corpse for interment. Some of the challenges will include pushy, unrealistic family members who want Aunt Bessie to look “more life-like”, ill-fitting clothes for the deceased, and convincing the family they should pay for the up-graded casket. Finally, what final-rest competition would be complete without the hearse-obstacle course?
Janitors Got Talent - Everyone knows at least one janitor who insists on singing or telling jokes while pushing brooms and emptying trash cans. Here’s a chance for janitors to shine like freshly scrubbed porcelain! Each contestant will have to demonstrate their unique talent while brushing toilets, running a floor buffer and refilling the soap dispensers in the women’s bathroom.
Cryo-Bank Tellers 24/7 - This gritty, up-close slice of reality will follow the challenges of round-the-clock employees at a St. Louis sperm bank as they deal with the crazy demands of such a bizarre work environment. Hand held cameras will follow them throughout the facility with copious amounts of digitized blurring of clients faces, specimen jars and more! At least once every episode, one of the tellers will lament “The sign on the door said ‘Unoccupied’, Geez I hate when that happens!” Hilarity meets revulsion when new staff members are pranked and directed to put their lunches in the wrong refrigerator!
Bus Wars – Broad Street Local - Parking Wars meets Cash Cab as Philadelphia’s public transportation passengers are asked impossibly difficult trivia questions. Contestants are frustrated, angered and embarrassed to realize they can’t possibly win any money. Tempers flare when the contestants realize that the host/driver has ignored their stops while waiting for one of them to answer the question!
American Baby-Nose Pickers - Poor little Tyler and Brittany can’t do it themselves with their little bitty fingers! Whether they use the squeeze ball, a Q-Tip or their own massive adult fingers, Moms and even Dads just can’t rest until that little hanger is out of their babies’ honkers. The contestants will have to face tough challenges like booger-eating older siblings and the nausea of onlookers. Tension builds as we close in on the final weigh-in!
My Biggest Fat Gypsy Rose Lee Loser - Theatrical directors and personal trainers team up to direct a community theater production of “Gypsy”, starring the morbidly obese who compete to lose the most weight while dancing and singing the hit numbers from 1959’s Broadway smash! Wardrobe issues and self-esteem are on a collision course in this emotional competition! Contestants are pushed to the brink when they have to keep their appetites and salivary glands in check while singing the lyric “..have an egg roll, Mr. Goldstone..”
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m going to go ahead and send the link for this blog to all those networks. Keep your eyes peeled in the months to come, I think I’ve got a few winners here. Listen up network execs, as promised, these ideas are there for the taking, and all I ask is the “Creative Consultant” tag and a plug for my blog. Be warned though, my next batch won’t come so cheap!