I tried to resist the rising tide of reality TV. For a year or two I scorned those who watched Survivor and The Bachelor. I said things like “Reality TV is the sign of a decadent society on the downward slide to oblivion.” But no one listened because they were watching reality TV.
Then I started reading reality TV commentary by the likes of Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com and John Doyle in the Globe and Mail and damned if they didn’t say the funniest stuff about those shows. I mean laugh out loud hilarious. So naturally, I became intrigued and began sneakily watching episodes of shows like For Love or Money and Joe Millionaire II where the less than brilliant but nicely muscled cowboy woos and is confused by haggard, drunken European women.
My theory was that I would catch a couple of episodes, and be rewarded with endless amusing material. Our society might be rotting in front of my very eyes, but I’d be commentating on it. And that’s important.
Unfortunately, the damn stuff is addictive. It’s like the crack cocaine of mass media. If burning people alive while eating grapes peeled by naked slaves was even half as entertaining, I can see why the Roman Empire fell. No time to tend the gates, Paradise Hotel, or as Havrileski styles it “Drunk Asshole Hotel” is on.
I was feeling guilty about not being more productive, you know, due to my growing reality TV addiction, but I’ve just had this fantastic idea. I’ll create my own reality TV show called The Frank Juby Experiment. (Please see link opposite). It’s going to be really, really entertaining and positive and even quite alarming.
I would have called it The Susan Juby Experiment and made it about me but then there would be an expectation that funny stuff would happen like it does on The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. And pretty much nothing amusing happens to me because I’m so freaking busy watching reality TV.
The Frank Juby Experiment is going to be about this dog who can’t get his person to pay any attention to him because she’s watching reality TV. To raise the tension there will be some bits where the person gardens (and Frank watches, bored) and some bits where the person goes on a new fitness regime but overeats to compensate and Frank gets to lick the plates (which Frank enjoys). But soon this isn’t enough stimulation and so Frank splits and goes to be a guest dog on other reality TV shows!
Frank will go to live with a wealthy dog (perhaps belonging to that Hilfiger girl?). The rich dog will be so slothful and decadent from being carried around in a Prada bag it will have lost the ability to scratch itself or even use its legs. Like a faith healer or James Herriott caring for Tricky Woo, Frank will teach the Rich Dog to rise up and WALK AGAIN!
Next Frank will go and stay with the Osbourne’s herd of unhousebroken miniature dogs. The Pomeranian, Japanese Chin and Chihauhua will be mildly retarded due to prolonged exposure to Osbourne byproducts, leaving Frank to save Ozzy and Jack when they have a father/son overdose. He will also go for help after any recreational vehicle accidents. We will schedule this for Sweeps Week.
He will cower at the remarks of Simon Cowell and, posing as a stray, scrounge for gourmet scraps behind Jamie’s Kitchen (and dodge kicks aimed by feckless, shirking and sullen London street youth).
The pitch: Littlest Hobo meets Lady and the Tramp by way of Survivor.
Somebody get me a calculator. I’m going to be rich.
P.S. I can’t believe I finally figured out how to upload an image to this blog!