Summer television isn’t known for its quality. Personally, whenever the regular season ends, that’s when I usher in the Era of the DVD/Netflix, at least until the fall. But when I look over the summer lineup, I see so much missed opportunity for fresh, innovative television ““ simply by smashing two shows together, one can get a fascinating new television experience.
So You Think You Can Wipeout: So You Think You Can Dance meets Wipeout ““ After years and years of dance shows, I am convinced that most people, with enough time and training, can learn how to dance. Asking, “So you think you can dance?” seems pointless in this pop culture landscape. Instead, let’s applaud those who can run obstacle courses yanked from Japanese game show Takeshi’s Castle (re-edited in Spike TV’s Most Extreme Elimination Challenge), with the most tenacity, grit, and poise. Being clumsy is the new graceful. Winners receive a trip to Japan to appear on a reunion episode of Takeshi’s Castle.
America’s Got Big Brother: America’s Got Talent meets Big Brother ““ Instead of judges watching people bust out their skills, people will get to see exactly how little privacy they have. Video surveillance, documentation of activity, and all the rest of the Big Brother is Watching privacy invasions will be laid out in front of a live studio audience. Each episode will cover one person’s life, and at the end, the person with the most public information will win a new car, a copy of George Orwell’s 1984, dinner for two at Applebee’s and $5,000.
The Master Ref: The Master Chef meets The Marriage Ref ““ Have you ever watched a professional sports game and thought “I could be a better ref!” Well, this is the show for you. Instead of policing people’s relationships using tired gender role humor, Jerry Seinfeld will provide the color commentary for common people trying to learn how to become profession NFL referees. Seinfeld’s faux outrage/indignation, constant Mets references, and 1990s throwback style, will provide a well-needed laugh in this high-stress competition. Winners will become professional referees and will get an endorsement with Foot Locker.
The Bachelorette: nothing, this is just The Bachelorette ““ Wouldn’t it be nice to see a romance show that wasn’t totally endorsing a heteronormative view on relationships? Like, where the Bachelorette wasn’t necessarily a straight, cis-lady? But where the Bachelorette’s sexuality wasn’t a gimmick, but just a part of the show? I mean, there’s something inevitably strange and exploitative about putting people on TV under the guise of looking for love. It’s a vulnerable, silly process that can only be complicated by constant filming, extreme editing, and people looking for fame or cash. But it’d still be cool to see non-hetero relationships in reality TV. Or regular TV.
What TV shows would you like to see? What mash-ups have you come up with?