Saturday, June 13, 2009

Idealia meets reality TV

First, I want to apologize for the lack of activity over the last week. I have been busy finishing classes at the ABC Adult School. During the evening, I have continued to share the computer with my parents, cutting into my time.

But now the classes are over and now I have much more time to devote to my work. This summer will be fun and interesting!

One of my guilty pleasures is reality television, especially the kind in which there is competition for some sort of prize. Whether it's a recording contract, a new job, or simply bragging rights, these contestants will do just about anything to win.

Two posts ago, I discussed American Idol and even presented a "top 12" to compete alongside the show's real singers. Now, I turn my attention to other reality-type game shows. Throughout my book, there are characters who would put the reality wannabes to shame. They also have the aura of authenticity that the rest of the cast would not have.

Here are the rest of my "game opera" (hat tip: Steve Beverly, Union University) all-star team.

  • America's Got Talent: Think Sarah Boyle was the hottest thing going? Wait until she is challenged by the likes of magician Brett Bartlett, jump-rope R&B singers McPitter and McPatter, bagpiper Kimberly MacMootry, and the jazz group Three Hot Mikes. The first three can be found on page 116 and the last on pages 193 and 194. (OK, so Boyle was on Britain's Got Talent. As NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds says, "Same but different.")
  • America's Next Top Model: The inspirational story of BooTeasha Baltimore is told on pages 95-97. She rose from poverty in Mississippi to represent beauty and self-determination by modeling clothes she made herself from scratch. I could have also put her on Project Runway, but I feel that ANTM is the more challenging show for her because she has to learn to be "fierce" - probably a word for inner toughness - on that program.
  • Dancing with the Stars: Brandon McLamb (chapters 2 and 9) is so enamored with fame that he goes from publicizing stars to joining them in competition! His preferred partner is Julianne Hough, but if Hough is about to leave the show again to focus on country music, he's willing to settle for Lacey Schwimmer.
  • Hell's Kitchen: Rhonda Wolfeschlagelsteinhausenbergerdorff (page 116) is just what the show needs. She faces the unenviable task of listening to all the shrillness of Gordon Ramsay, but she does it with a smile. Not only that, Rhonda could help all the other contestants calm down.
  • So You Think You Can Dance: Michaelanne Muellerleile (page 30) has a Hollywood-type name ("related" to Marianne, who really exists) and a ballet background.
  • Survivor: Wilburn Baldridge, who I mention briefly in chapter 13, represents all those who live off the land in Idealia; he would be apt to place in the hostile environments used on this program. However, his chances could be sabotaged if he is too honest and gracious in playing the game. (Coincidence: one of the show's editors is named Brian Barefoot. No kidding. If you have a tape of the show, stop and look for the credits.)
  • The Amazing Race: Laura and Heather Boogerberger, who debut on page 101, would be perfect for this show. The twins ("pictured" with this post) can make history, as no team of two females have ever won the race and the $1 million grand prize that goes along with it. Even if they don't win, they would be great ambassadors from the ideal world to the real world, and that as they say is priceless.
  • The Bachelor: I put Dylan Bryan-Brown in federal prison at the end of my book, but then he gets out on good behavior and part of his "community service" is finding one of 25 women to share the rest of his life with. I hope this goes better than just about every other season of this program.
I will not cast Big Brother since the show is low-quality and full of aspiring actors who have turned it into improvisational theater. There are other shows, but they are on little-watched cable/satellite networks, are highly specialized, or both.

What do you think of this post or any of my others so far? Please click the comments link and let me know. Keep it clean, please.

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