I always thought watching TV was a time to relax, reflect on your day, and rest your weary bones and mind. Apparently its not. It has become the time to ride a roller-coaster of “extreme” TV programming, departing NOW from a TV near you, ready or not.
Fishing, driving, tree-felling, hoarding, eating – these all used to be pleasurable, down-time experiences. Now it seems they can’t be enjoyed unless we are “pushing the boundaries” and “living on the edge”. We should be feeling guilty about enjoying a quiet moment.
Not content with dropping a line and hoping for a bite from a lazy flathead, trawling the floor of a quiet local inlet? Then you need to hire a speed-boat on the Amazon and hunt flesh-eating piranha, who won’t even wait for the translation of “por favor” before taking off your arm. Or what about a drive in the bush, maybe stopping for a picnic or photo opportunity at a quiet lake? Why would you bother when you can drive at 100 miles an hour through an ice storm, pausing only to gnaw on the leg of a wild deer?
You wonder how far creative television producers are willing to take this – how about “Extreme Chess” (Players are allowed to slap their opponent once per move), “Extreme Sunday Book Club” (Panel discuss books whilst riding a unicycle on an LA Freeway) and my personal favourite, “Extreme Cooking, Trying to Lose Lots of Weight, with Talent” (Contestants must cook while blindfolded, eat each other’s food, then complete a series of gruelling physical tasks whilst singing and demonstrating complex dance moves.)
In all formats, losing contestants will be shot. If a show falls below a certain audience rating, the show’s creator and producers are shot.
Hey, I might be on to something. A new career beckons.