So, I was watching Top Design last night, and they ran a promo for their new competitive reality show--"Shear Genius." 12 ambitious hair-stylists competing, blah, blah, blah. Does the ousted contestant each week hear "Please pack your scissors and go?" In the interest of full disclosure, I no doubt will watch this show, since I have apparently become Bravo's little Wednesday night bitch, happily watching whatever Project Runway knock-off they choose to show me. Project Runway with its "Auf Wiedersehn," Top Chef with its "Please pack your knives and go," Top Design with the cheerful "See you later, decorator"--I've watched them all.
But I'm beginning to wonder where this all will end. I foresee for myself an endless future of Wednesday nights, sitting on the couch watching the latest competition dreamed up in the Bravo programming department.
"And now, an all-new Top Lawyer. Watch 12 ambitious attorneys compete for the top prize! Tonight's competition involves suing a large appliance corporation on behalf of your client, who didn't realize stove burners are hot. Each contestant will be given $10,000 for expert witnesses ("There is no way the average person would know that stove burners, capable of cooking food at a high temperature, shouldn't be touched. It is unconscionable that this corporation did not include a warning label on each and every burner."), and will have the assistance of a paralegal, assigned to you at random. I'm your host, Star Jones-Reynolds (I am a LAWyer). Please welcome our regular judges: Judge Wapner, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, and our special guest judge: that blubbering idiot from the Anna Nicole Smith 'get her in the ground please, she's decaying' hearing. Let the competition begin." And later in the program: "You made good visual use of your client's scarred palm, we really liked that pie chart in your Powerpoint presentation, but unfortunately, your client is still poor (and stupid), so...see you later, litigator!"
Following closely on its heels: Top Doc. (Alternate title: Project O.R.) 12 ambitious surgeons competing blah, blah, blah. Your host: Sanjay Gupta. Your judges: the doctors of "House," "ER," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scrubs." (Yes, we know they're not "real" surgeons, but they're so pretty.) "Tonight, each contestant will attempt a radical new brain transplant procedure. You will each be given $10,000 for surgical supplies, and the services of a scrub nurse, assigned to you at random. Let the operations begin!" And, of course, later: "We thought you displayed an appropriate amount of cockiness, you really seem to be developing your god complex, and your choice of O.R. music was funkalicious! But, unfortunately, your patient died, so...see you later, operator!"
The possibilities are endless: Top Teacher--"see you later, educator!" Project Law--"see you later, adjudicator!" Project Wait Staff--"see you later, lousy waiter!" Top Prom Star*--"see you later, masturbator!" Project Pest Control--"see you later, exterminator!" Project Vulcanology--"see you later, loves-a-crater!" Top Archeologist--"see you later, carbon dater!" Project Greek Mythology--"see you later, impish satyr!" Top Merchant Marine--"see you later on the freighter!" (Okay, okay, enough already! But I was just getting ready to go for "Seder" and "Darth Vader." Quite possibly "tater" or "termater." And you'll notice I refrained from a Crocodile Hunter-style "see you later, alligator.")
I personally can't wait for Project Drive-Thru. 12 ambi--okay, maybe not, let's just say 12 polyester-clad fast food employees compete for the top prize. Their challenge? Take the drive-thru order accurately the first time, provide the customer with EXACTLY what he/she ordered, remember to include napkins, salt and appropriate condiments WITHOUT being asked, top it off with a cheery "have a nice day" or "thank you" and DON'T slam the window in their faces. The tagline? Delivered over the drive-thru speaker, of course: "garble garble later, squawk squawk static." I'm sorry, could you repeat that? ""GARBLE GARBLE LATER, SQUAWK SQUAWK STATIC!" I'm sorry, one more time, please? "GARBLE GARBLE--" You know what? Never mind, I'll just drive myself off.
Now wouldn't that be compelling television?
*Metalia's lovely term for "adult movie performer"