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Raise your hand if you feel TV producers are letting us down with their pointless reality shows. Raise your hand if you feel disrespected and taken for granted by the 21st century’s TV landscape. Keep it raised if you believe more creative scripts, formats or genres could be included in our viewing. We are tired of recycled ideas and lazy producers. We have had enough of watching our prime time viewing decay. Amandla!
Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but I am sure you agree to some extent. After watching one of the many The Real Housewives…, who are far from real or housewives, what more is there that producers think viewers could want from further seasons, let alone more shows in a similar vein?
If controversial singer Ray J is not looking for love in For the Love of Ray J, he is with big sister Brandy in A Family Business. If Paris is not looking for a best friend in Paris Hilton’s BFF, she is chilling with the equally spoilt brat, Nicole Richie. It is one big blur of made-up “reality”.
But if you think that is bad, then brace yourself for Chicagolicious. Yes, really, there is a show with that title and it is coming to your TV screen. Of course, they are borrowing from Jerseylicious which was described as a “docusoap” (whatever that means) about a group of dramatic salon employees from New Jersey. Granted, the programme made a name for itself, notched up five seasons and earned kudos for the creators and everyone involved.
What is interesting now is that a bunch of people from Chicago have come up with their version of the show and aptly named it Chicagolicious. And yes, you guessed right if you thought they would also attempt to replicate the drama seen on Jerseylicious.
In this series, we meet yet another bunch of dramatic salon employees.
Okay, for interest’s sake, let’s say that at the helm of an old show like The A-Team, some “clever” executive thinks of making a mercenary team of four men and call them The B-Team.
How lame would that sound? That idea would be laughed at in any pitch meeting. But that’s not the case when it comes to reality series that arrive at a time when we are much wiser and have learnt much about television as a medium.
You have to wonder what happened to creativity. It is amazing how, as we advance technologically, we appear to be dumber.
If we are not remaking old movies and TV series we are attempting to draw blood from the reality series rock. It is sad.
Yet there are countless talented people with scripts and show ideas no one wants to look at. Executive producers need to tap film schools and scout for eager youngsters who have never-been-seen-before ideas.
Our only hope for fresher ideas is not in yet another Mark Burnett idea, but in some unknown kid’s fantasy.
The advantage of this arrangement would be that unknown people are usually hungry to prove themselves.
This is the same with musicians, and if you look at most successful musicians you will see their spark was ignited by the labours of their debut offering.
As long as ideas come from the same people, we are better off watching The Smurfs. There is really nothing new reality TV can bring at present.
Instead, every commissioned show tries to outdo the next when it comes to covering the drama.
If you do not believe me, watch Chicagolicious and find one thing apart from the cast and the location that is different from what you have already seen.
• Chicagolicious airs every Tuesday at 10.05pm on Style (DStv channel 183).