Friday, August 24, 2007

Survivor: Perry Street now on CBS

We've been watching too much TV lately, and yep, I'm embarrassed to admit that a lot of it is reality TV. Sometimes we feel a little bit icky watching reality television; other times, we feel charged up, and Glen and I both will say: "We need that guy in Trenton for just a few days."

I've been wondering if I should divulge my dirty little secret about reality tv, and for the last few weeks I've been keeping this blog, I keep saying, "nah, I can't write about that." But after this week's Trentonian article about Lifetime's interest in filming their new show, Neighbors 911, here in Trenton, I know I've been silent for too long. Glen and I chuckled when we read about Neighbors 911 coming to Trenton; of ALL the reality TV people we need in this city, it's not the makers of this show. Neighbors 911 will focus on feuding families, and if I read the info correctly, participants will find some resolve, and some compensation for their troubles. It looks like the compensation maxes out at $3,000.

This is how I see it going:
The producers will come to town, looking for people to be on the show, and no one will want to risk their lives for (up to) $3,000. Generally, Trenton residents don't have too many pesky, annoying neighbors. Our bad neighbors involve dudes who sell heroin, fight pit bulls, stockpile weapons; you know, the types that don't have any respect for life. The only compensation for your appearance on Neighbors 911 is violence.

But maybe I'm a pessimist.

There are some shows we'd love to come to Trenton, though.

Our latest hero is Canadian Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes, which is on the Discovery Home channel. The basic premise is if you had your home renovated, and the contractor botched it up, Mike comes in, often shirtless (under his Carhartt overalls), and fixes everything. Not only does he fix things, but he also talks about gettin' the bad guy, which unfortunately, he doesn't do enough on the show, but I get the impression that it happens off air, and often in court, that I'm satisfied. And throughout it all, he commiserates with and consoles the home owners, coos over the kids, and talks about how morals and high standards don't seem to exist anymore, all the while he and his fine crew are gettin' dirty making things right in the house.

Glen and I envision Mike, and Shawn and Benji, coming in, with their tool belts, and their high standards, their shirtlessness (I think a bit more about the shirtless aspect than Glen does, admittedly), and their need to educate. Do you have a house next door in shambles? Well, Mike and crew could certainly bring that mess up to code, and find the guy who butchered the house. They'd teach that guy a lesson, get some new tenants or owners in the house, and yeah, I'm a bit delusional, but with this approach, we could have a whole new city in no time!

What we really like about the show, unlike the many other popular home renovation shows, is that there is no stupid, well-coiffed narrator. Mike and crew just come to the house and the cameras tell the story. Simple, effective.

So that's one show that would help improve the code/architecture/slumlord situation. We have the criminal element to keep an eye on as well, and that's where Dog, the Bounty Hunter might help. Now, I wrote last week about how very cheesy Dog is, but despite that, I would be thrilled if he were to come to Trenton for a special episode. How entertaining would it be to have that guy, with his bad hair flowing behind him, tons of ornamentation jangling all over his body, along with his wife, brother, and sons, running through our streets to bring some knuckleheads to justice? BRO, AWESOME!

Since we're talking criminal apprehension, and we do seem to have a glut of criminals here (don't be so quick to point the finger: if you've asked our city administrators for information, you may just be a criminal yourself)...
...We have a lot of respect for the police in Trenton, and we often wonder if it would be helpful if A&E's The First 48 came here. This show has been around for awhile, and is popular, but in case you've missed it, the show's crew follows a group of detectives around after a homicide: "their chance of solving a case is cut in half if they don't get a lead in The First 48™." It's a dark show, and sometimes gut-wrenching, too. And so frustrating to watch so many people make bad decisions. But what we like about this show is that it shows the detectives as real people; approachable. We're seeing how police departments in Miami, Dallas, Memphis, Cinncinnati, both Kansas Cities, and Philadelphia (coming soon) will protect witnesses; we see their compassion when dealing with families, and even, their respectfulness with the suspects. Maybe if The First 48 were to come to Trenton, people would begin to see that being silent about criminal activity only makes life worse.

Even some mindless entertainment filmed in Trenton might prove beneficial, too. That's why I think maybe the producers of Survivor ought to start thinking outside of the reality TV box (the box they basically defined). I'm sick to death of all of the model-wannabees getting "stuck" some place tropical and sunny, with plentiful food. It's like America's Next Top Model, but on the beach. Blech. What I'm hoping for is Survivor: Hermitage Avenue (I'd settle for Survivor: Perry Street, too). Drop those pretty people off in our inner city, with no supplies, and let's see how they do, and for kicks, let's make it November. Would they panhandle at the train station, or in front of the courthouse? Would they urinate on the side of the firehouse? Would they go to the Soup Kitchen? Not that I'd want to watch anyone suffer on TV, but I think that getting kicked off the boat or helicopter in Trenton would encourage the contestants to look deep within themselves and find new meaning in their lives. Maybe those of us watching the show, too, would look deep within ourselves, and we'd start asking some important questions: are there enough resources for those without options? Do we fully appreciate what we have? Why do we watch so much stupid television, anyway?


Brendage said...

Dude! The first step is admitting you have a problem and when it comes to reality tv I have to stand up and say "My name is Brenda and I'm an addict!" So put that in your backpack! I don't have cable so when I visit I'm all about getting caught up on the action at Glen and Chrissy's. I gotta say that with the current state of the exchange I ain't gettin' whacked for a mere $3,000.00 - even if it is American money!
Later Haters! I've gotta go write poetry about my fellow countryman Mike Holmes

Brooklyn Bill said...

I'd never heard of this Holmes character, but I'm mighty intrigued now. A quick perusal of his Web site revealed no shirtless-under-his-Carhartt-overalls photos or clips, though. You wouldn't pec tease me, would you, Chrissy? :)

Years ago, when Steve and I belonged to the Trenton Gay and Lesbian Civic Association, one of the members talked about how the producers of the American version of Queer as Folk were considering setting the show in Trenton. I vaguely recall this guy suggesting we write a letter urging them to do so, but I can't remember exactly what action the group took. Unfortunately, the producers ended up choosing Pittsburgh instead. Steve and I were faithful viewers for the first couple of seasons, and then I got sick and tired of everyone enabling Brian's self-absorption and stopped watching.