Saturday, June 2, 2012

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Ryan-Seacrest-NBC-Comcast-900-600I’ve been putting a concept together in my head for quite a while now. Thinking about all of the reality shows that are currently out there to watch, I wanted to find one that is actually reality. If I have to hear the name Kardashian (who cares) one more time I think I’ll scream. Shame on you, Ryan Seacrest! We are raising a world of gullible people who can actually believe that this is reality. Scripted reality, yes. Reality influenced by incidents provoked by the production team, yes. But reality in the true sense of the word, absolutely not.
But I’ve often talked to my husband about my idea for a reality show that I think would make Americans sit down and watch and be either disgusted or delighted with ourselves. Not disgusted in a Fear Factor – no, don’t eat that disgusting thing, but in a way that shows us how caught up in our own lives we’ve become. It would show us how we take our creature comforts for granted. But perhaps it might surprise us and show us that there really are good people out there. And no, I’m not talking about that stupid show, Undercover Bosses. Please – everyone knows that there is something up with that and if bosses everywhere would just treat their employees fairly then it wouldn’t seem like these bosses are oh so great when they pay for a family to take a trip together or someone to have some time off to take care of an ailing family member.
My show – and oh, by the way, if Ryan Seacrest or any of the major networks does run something along the same lines, I expect some credit - is very much in line with a Survivor theme. But rather than drop these people off in a remote area of the world and provide them with clean drinking water to live on a beach somewhere playing games, you take a group of individuals, strip them of everything except shirts and pants and drop them in the center of Manhattan. Without a job, cell phone, credit or debit card, or even shoes these individuals have to try to survive legally. They cannot tell anyone they are on a reality show, they cannot steal or make up grandiose lies, but they have to find a way to get clothed, stay clean, eat and sleep safely. They will have to find a job, secure housing, and anything else to gain a normal way of life. There is no privilege, no contacting friends or family, basically making their way just as if they were landing on Ellis Island with nothing.
No one gets kicked off, there are no individual tasks, and their task each day is simply trying to survive. They can pair up and try to work together, but there will be no alliances on how to make other individuals or teams give up or lose. This is just to see each of them survive and what means they use to manage on a daily basis.  We will watch their encounters trying to find shoes, employment, a meal and a place to stay.
I’m not even sure there should be a winner. I think that each of them will learn about the human condition and will take away a gift that cannot be obtained any other way – just learning about their own willingness to survive and the generosity of those around us or lack thereof.
I believe that their approach to trying to gain and maintain normalcy would be interesting and I know that the reactions they would get on the street would vary from nasty to actual nurturing and willingness to help. But I think America would be most interested to see how people treat each other. And it might influence a change around the country in the way others react to people in tight times.  I picked Manhattan because this is the most affluent area of the country and there are all means of living within a small geography, but each season could be completed in any metro area – Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco.

If you’d be interested to see this instead of Kim, Khloe and their crazy mom, let me know at ourtheoryonlife@gmail or comment below.

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