Television is dangerous, y’all.

2 09 2009

I’m watching “Crash Course” on ABC right now, and it is, admittedly, kind of the best. I don’t mean the best. I mean that it is vaguely entertaining for the 30% of my line of vision that is not looking directly at my computer screen. The rest of my eyes are having a way better time than that 30%, particularly the part that is watching my dog try and stay awake long enough to continue to beg for my brother’s Wynton Marsalis. Oh, I’m sorry, I’m being corrected – it’s pronounced chicken marsala.

But, this 30% of my eyes could be having a worse time. They’re entertained. That’s not the point.

The point is: this show is seriously one of the most dangerous “wooo I’m on a game show!” game shows I’ve ever seen. The basic premise is that they put completely untrained randos off the street (but with dramarama relationships like mother-son! brothers-in-law! best friends! natch.) into racecars and have them drive through obstacle courses and over jumps intended to flip your car and THROUGH FLAMES. All to win 50,000 dollars.

Really? So… I can go on “Wheel of Fortune” and risk – at worst – some mild tendonitis in my spinnin’ wrist and win that much plus some sweet trips. Or I can risk life and limb, drive a car towards what most people would consider an instant death, and only win 50 grand? Yeah right, ABC.

I appreciate that this is what America wants to watch. That part of America that is slightly overweight (let’s be real – more than slightly, according to any recent publication) and probably has a lawn ornament or three. But they are Americans nonetheless, and I won’t discount their opinion, especially since we’ve got some cement frogs in our garden, I won’t deny it. But it seems like a terrible move on the production company’s part to choose games that are so dangerous. Why risk having one of your contestants die (oh hey, didn’t see you there VH1) when they could participate in something just as embarrassing and way less dangerous?

Sarah, that’s half the fun! Haven’t you seen the previews for Final Destination 3D? People go to NASCAR races in order to see the crashes!

No, I get it. I love it. But I can’t say that I endorse it. Some alternatives that are just as embarrassing for contestants, and yet safer for the production companies, the real victims in all of this:

1. P-P-Party. This stems from a idea we always wanted to do in college, but did not have the faculties to perform while drunk and didn’t have the cajones to perform sober. Contestants weigh in. They all drink the same amount of liquid. They go through some shitty obstacle course (or trivia. Or a race. Or twenty minutes of commercial, this is all just filler.) At the end of the show, everyone let’s loose and pees in their diapers. Did I mention that they were wearing adult diapers? They are. Final weigh in. Whoever peed the most in their diaper, wins a million P-P-Pennies. Oohhhh noooo!

2. America’s Next Top Fugly. I don’t want to be immodest, but watching television modeling shows is really tough for me because I can never tell if I’m looking in the mirror or not. Because I am literally so attractive, it looks like the television is reflecting the equivalent of my own appearance. I don’t watch television to see people who are JUST LIKE ME, I want to experience the annals of bizarroworld without leaving the comfort of the couch. There is a reason that I’ve seen almost all of TLC’s programming (Half Ton Teen and The Boy Who’s Skin Fell Off are two of the most uncomfortawesome hours of my life) and it’s because people love seeing people who are way worse off than they are. And people who are way worse off than the rest of us love to go on TV so they have at least a couple months between filming and airing where they get to say “I was on TV” but not have everyone know why they were on TV. Basically, this show is The Ugliest Dog Competition, but for people. Bring me your huddled masses and jiggly asses, says Lady LiberTV. Those old “Extreme Makeover: Plastic Surgery Editions” came close, but the winner of this show is not contractually allowed to get plastic surgery for at least 30 months post-filming.

3. “The Parent Trap” – kind of like “Wife Swap”, except the kids find out that their parents have been trapped somewhere, like those people who fall into holes in the ground set out by their enemies! The kids are forced to fend for themselves for two weeks while their parents remain TRAPPED (except not dangerously trapped, comfortable trapped. Like, chaise lounges and HD monitor to watch what their kids are doing.) We get to see kids either hack it or crack it, the parents learn a valuable lesson about how much they can trust/distrust their children, and children learn that it’s hard to be their parents because they suck. Everyone wins, no one gets any cash, and the chances of running into a brick wall are much, much lower.

You’ve got choices, production companies. You don’t have to endanger your contestants and yourselves every night. You’re better than that. Get back to the source of game shows – not explosions, not possible limb loss, but just great, great potential for lifelong embarrassment.

These ideas are all greater than or equal to the brainrape  “Dance Your Ass Off”, so if you are going to go ahead and greenlight these things, please send my gigantic sized check to my PO Box, kthxbye.


Pun time:

What do you call a place where 66% of adults over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese? (PS – This is a fact according to Newsweek. A terrifying, soul-crushing, embarrassing fact.)


Other acceptable answers: American’t-breath-after-mild-exercise, The US-Heft-A, United Shakes of America (also a good answer to a joke about epilepsy/milkshakes.)