Reality TV is cheap to produce and, God help us, the powers that be are about to give us a bumper crop of "reality shows." Among the reality shows about to debut are Bravo's "Make Me A Supermodel," featuring a bunch of wannabe models duking it out for a modeling contract and $100,000.00. CMT is about to spring "My Big Redneck Wedding" on the public. Apparently, there will be beer-can canopies and mud wrestling at the reception. Need I say more? Fox will have "The Moment of Truth," NBC will have "Baby Borrowers" and "Celebrity Apprentice," and ABC will have "Oprah's Big Give." Those are all for real. Seriously. It was in the newspaper. But what if that's not enough? There's a writer's strike on, you know. It is for that reason that I've sketched out some additional shows to fill the void.
Save the Pop Tarts: Between rehab and anorexia and jail, young pop tart singers are suffering. Yes, these girls need all the help they can get. Why not adopt one and help give her a better life? For just a few dollars a month, you can provide a pop tart with heavier makeup, tighter clothes (and some underwear), cosmetic surgery, psychotherapy, collagen injections, tranquilizers, junk food, singing lessons (or dancing lessons if they don't take), paparazzi-free trysts, sports cars and SUVs to transport them to and from rehab, bail, and booze, cigarettes, and/or safe, prescription recreational drugs. In return, you'll receive an 8 x 10 glossie of your Pop Tart and if she ever gets another hit song, she'll dedicate it to you. And be sure and watch the show, where you'll see them strut and sulk, vedge out, go psychotic, hit-and-run parked cars, lose custody of their kids, flash the cameras -- and more! The phone number and Web site will scroll across the bottom of the screen all during the show, so dig deep into your pockets and give these girls a chance at a better life.
Celebrity Mud-Slinging: Watch your favorite celebrities whiten their teeth and blow-dry their hair as they dress to the nines and prepare to toss barbs and insults at each other -- along with chairs, bottles, shoes, telephones, and whatever else is within reach. The last one standing is the de facto winner. The males will be pitted against the females, and the winning male and female from each team will win a date with each other. You'll also get to watch them on their date and see the exciting climax where one will insult the other, throw something at him or her, and stomp off smiling in full view of the paparazzi. And ... one lucky home audience winner will get to write the press release explaining why the best person won and the loser deserved everything he/she got.
Hollywood Hooters: This one follows the trials and tribulations of surgically enhanced Hollywood actresses. You'll be fascinated as you watch the ladies swim, surf, run, play volleyball, and shop for clothes -- and this is a big, big deal. It's not easy finding a dress that will fit size 0 hips and a 42DD bust. The main thrust of the show revolves around the surgery itself, the recuperation period, and the aftermath as the ladies learn how to balance themselves so they can stand and walk without toppling over. The winner is, of course, the lady with the biggest breasts who can actually perform some of the functions of a normal life without falling over on her face.
Tame the Shrew: Men and women from all over America will nominate their spouses to spend a weekend with Rosie O'Donnell. They'll win fabulous prizes like cars and houses and speed boats if they can make it to midnight on Sunday without committing homicide. If the contestant fails to return home with a whole new appreciation of and attitude toward his or her spouse, the show will pay for the divorce.
Survivor, Dr. Phil: Two teams will be stranded on an island in the middle of the East River with Dr. Phil. He will lecture them, analyze them, patronize them, incite one team against the other, and egg them on in tests of endurance for twenty hours a day. At the end of one week, each contestant who has not grabbed the tribal torch and lighted Phil wins a cool million bucks.
Take It Off For The Tykes: This show will raise money for underprivileged children by recruiting a cross sample of young women from all over the country to dance and strip on national TV. We'll be privy to candid behind-the-scenes coverage of the young ladies shaving, waxing, learning to walk in 6-inch heels, attending lap dancing classes, familiarizing themselves with the pole, and choreographing their exotic dancing routines. It's interesting to note that none of the contestants are under 5'9" and none are larger than a size 4. Note: the network censors have relaxed the rules on prime-time nudity because, after all, it's for a good cause. Anything goes, of course, when it's for the children.
American Lawyer Idylls: Yes, it's a battle of wits among this year's graduates of the nation's top law schools. They will lie and cheat and strategize as they jockey into position to vie for a seat at the Dream Team table for the year's hottest celebrity trial. The lying is expected; backstabbing will be tolerated since, if there is actual blood let, there are both Personal Injury and criminal lawyers among the contestants. They'll joust with each other in the Pre-trial Maneuvering Marathon, con one another in the Confrontation Bacchanal, and elbow each other out of the way during Machiavellian Media Manipulation. This will be the perfect venue in which to perfect their rhetorical, finagling, and obfuscation skills, and the first member of the jury to see through it will win an all expenses paid guided tour of the Harvard Law School. The winning lawyer will win, of course, the coveted place on the defense team AND a nip/tuck and/or liposuction, fourteen couture suits in his or her choice of color and cut, a Prada man purse or ladies pocketbook, a diamond pinkie ring from Tiffany's, a makeover and new do or ... hair weaves, contact lenses in the exotic color of his/her choice, a corner office, the right to set his/her own hourly rate, two secretaries, one paralegal, a personal assistant, a valet, a masseuse, keys to the executive washroom AND the executive dining room, and a Porsche Carerra.