It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

stupid tv! be more entertaining!

The other night, Mo From Buffalo made me watch a bit of this "Who Wants To Be A Pirate?" kind of reality show that takes place on a boat and every week each loser is "cut adrift" and shown floating off into the distance on a dinghy (with a conveniently-placed camera aboard as well, apparently.) The fact that it's on at 10:00 on CBS is pretty much a good clue as to how much they respect the show.

The thing is you can't just have people hanging around a ship pretending to be pirates. No, it wouldn't be interesting to watch a bunch of people learn how to sail an old ship and then maybe try to cruise around the West Indies searching for treasure. No, you have to have them play a game show. You have to kick pirates off your ship every week, which is something that pirates always did because the goal of being a pirate was to be THE CAPTAIN and have nobody on your ship as crew, apparently. Once again, as with other "reality" game shows, the idea of working as a team is thrown to the side in favor of an every-man-for-himself elimination dynamic. Don't delude youself about teams, "alliances" or secret conspiracies. If the game ends with one winner, all team efforts are entirely self-serving and thus self-defeating.

The other real problem was that the game was needlessly complex. The rules for kicking people off the ship were convoluted, there were "shocking twists" in place, I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on, someone got to bid 5000 bucks for a "pardon" so they couldn't get cut adrift, someone got to be captain but I don't know why or how, there were rules involving a mutiny or something, people were conspiring with each other but I don't know why, people voted, somebody was SHOCKED, I SAY SHOCKED that THEIR PIRATE MATES WOULD LIE AND CHEAT, and the guy who lost ran up and gave one girl a deep kiss (apparently they had A Thing Going On at one point) before jumping off into his boat and floating off with the cameraman. He probably gave the camera a thumbs-up too. Everybody involved in the game seemed to care a great deal about it. I just wanted to punch each and every one of them in the mouth.

The preview for the next episode involved "A shocking twist: FORMER CREWMEMBERS COME BACK!" As if that has never ever ever ever ever been done by any elimination-based "reality" show. The only fun thing about the show was that I got to snark on it with Mo in real-time over Ventrilo (finally found a use for it!)

I couldn't fathom why or how this was a good idea for a show, except it was created by Mark Burnett of Survivor fame and since he ran out of SHOCKING TWISTS for that show a few seasons back, I guess he decided it'd be a good idea to piggyback on the whole Jack Sparrow Experience. Oh, Mark. How you have fallen. Six years ago, they were falling over themselves to hop on the bandwagon and emulate you. You coined the national catchphrase "voted off the island." Now you're no longer driving the bandwagon. If anything, I'm willing to bet you're off all wagons altogether.

It was a trainwreck. I kinda wished there had been a trainwreck. A train coming out of NOWHERE over the water wrecking the boat? Now that would be one hell of a shocking twist and good TV besides.
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