June 14, 2012

TV Executives Admit That All Reality Shows Are The Same, So Maybe You Should Stop Watching Those Shows Now

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What is the issue?

…In news that will surprise precisely no one who’s ever paid attention to anything before, it turns out that network television “reality shows” are all pretty much basically the same. In fact, one television network is arguing in defense of this fact in court, which would make a pretty good show too, if we could watch that.

Which — how very shocking; how very, very shocking that reality shows are all the same. It’s like that old Norm MacDonald bit from Weekend Update: “And in other news from ‘DUH! Magazine’...” …Which, by the way, that was the name I suggested for this website, back when they were brainstorming titles for it: “DUH Catalog.” “…It’ll be hip and edgy but accessible,” I said, while snapping my fingers. “The kids will like it.” Sadly, no one went for it.

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So, back to reality shows — CBS executives are alleging that ABC ripped off Big Brother, which is a show that no one admits to watching, so how could anyone ever know, ha ha, these jokes just write themselves:

It all began when CBS filed a copyright infringement lawsuit back in May arguing that the shows were “strikingly similar,” further alleging that the fact that Glass House employs as many as 30 former Big Brother staffers who have been rumored to consult Big Brother‘s “production bible” amounts to theft of its “trade secrets.” That lawsuit… was quickly followed by CBS asking for an unprecedented temporary restraining order against the show.

A restraining order against a TV show; gosh. This is an attempt to block ABC’s new show The Glass House — which features 14 strangers living in a, yes, a literal transparent glass house; 14 strangers competing for a grand prize of some sort. The lawsuit could spell bad news for The Glass House, which is a shame, the name alone is so clever, working on so many levels like that, the number of those levels being two levels. And also, the show could feature dialogue like this:

Female host who has an English or Australian accent or something: I’m sorry, Jeffery, but you have been voted off by your Glass Housemates. And so, as the old saying goes, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” You threw stones, Jeffrey, in the estimation of your housemates, especially Larissa.

Jeffrey:  …Larissa and I never saw eye-to-eye, but I wish her the best. And I can walk out of this glass house with my head held high.

Host:  What are your plans now, Jeffrey?

Jeffrey: …I’ve got a lot of things happening in my life right now; I’m heading back to my old career for the moment. So; Glass House’s loss, freestyle rock-climbing’s gain, baby, whoooo. [Raises arms; makes 'V' sign with fingers of one hand.]

Host:  Thank you Jeffrey, and now, it’s time to hand in your shard. You have thirty minutes to remove your belongings from the Glassitorium.

…Which would be so, so great. But not according to CBS, those joy-killers. But ABC executives are striking back, pointing out that, well, who gives a sh-t? Who gives a sh-t in legal parlance, that is:

In its opposition today, ABC asks the court to deny CBS’ application. The network argues that “CBS’s copyright claim will not succeed” as “none of the alleged similarities shared by Big Brother and The Glass House involve copyright protectable elements — they are all generic staples of the reality show genre: people living in a house, competing with each other to avoid elimination, and winning a prize.”

So yes, it’s the damn same show featuring “generic staples” of the genre, but all reality shows are the goddamn same, so whatever the f-cking ever.

Nonetheless, despite this stirring “hey, these brainless peons will watch the same swill forever” defense, the case is not settled. CBS still has a restraining order against The Glass House — which means, we guess, that The Glass House should stop driving past CBS’s place at all hours of the night, stop sending all those “oh baby…” texts to CBS, and stop breathing heavily into the phone and then slamming the phone down.

…Let’s all hope that none of this legal argle-bargle delays The Glass House’s premiere, lest we be denied watching generic contestants grappling with generic problems on a show featuring generic elements of the genre! Premiering Mondays at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central, on ABC, the generic network.

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…But HOWEVER none of the above discussion solves my own burning issue which so important that I must say it in a single rushed sentence and which is that since we now know that all reality shows are the same, we can just recycle them, so networks should just BRING BACK ‘JOE MILLIONAIRE,’ THE GREATEST REALITY SHOW EVER. THE GUY WAS JUST PRETENDING TO BE A MILLIONAIRE… BUT THE GIRLS THOUGHT THAT HE WAS REALLY A MILLIONAIRE… it was great, plus it featured blowjobs in the woods, I loved that show, and this is not sarcasm; it can be hard to tell sometimes, I know. Also please bring back ‘PARADISE HOTEL,’ THE SECOND GREATEST REALITY SHOW EVER, in which you screwed your roommate, then strategically picked another roommate to screw the following week, so that you wouldn’t get kicked off the show, and that was the entire show! Seriously; there wasn’t even a prize or anything, you were just f-cking near-strangers to stay in the glamorous hotel which was on some island — okay, they introduced a secret prize near the end, but for most of the show, people were just f-cking to stay on the island. I could probably write a goddamn PhD thesis on Paradise Hotel, how it literalizes surface desire and actually makes surface desire undesirable by revealing the emptiness and the limits of said desire, or some such. Anyway, amazing. Where was I?

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So whatever. Meanwhile, if you actually give a sh-t about The Glass House, ABC’s website features this image:

So go and vote, America. Tell the players what to do. Take control, and let ABC know what you want; which really should be telling them to stop, just stop already, please, for the love of God. Okay? TC mark

Oliver Miller

Oliver is a vague personage, of no fixed residence — sort of a wandering poet-warrior who makes his own rules, if …

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