Vivek Narain on Life

The musings of a man preparing for a mission

Posts Tagged ‘Real World’

Species Swap

Posted by viveknarain on May 8, 2008

After several failed reality show pitches, I finally created a winner. Titled Species Swap, this show will bridge the gap between humanity and the natural world, putting modern man back in touch with the animal kingdom and inspiring our culture to live a greener lifestyle.

The rules are simple; each contestant is assigned a specific animal species and they compete to see who can better live as their chosen animal counterpart. Species Swap has already undergone several test episodes, and after working out most of the initial kinks, I think this show could be the next Real World. We were able to learn a lot from the early test episodes; unfortunately it was at the expense of some of the contestants.

Episode 1 – Bears

We wanted to start things off big, so we decided, what’s cooler than getting our first contestant to infiltrate the world of bears? Bears are the largest land carnivores on our planet and exude a tantalizing mixture mystique and brute strength that is guaranteed to drive in viewers. The crew figured we could channel the popularity of the Grizzly Man documentary, which proved that audiences love to watch humans interact with massive blood-thirsty beasts. Unfortunately, our first Species Swap episode ended exactly like Grizzly Man, except we weren’t respectful enough to remove the footage of our subject’s violent death, which Fox Network executives absolutely loved.

Episode 2 – Tigers

The crew theorized that the source of our early failure was the inability to create an authentic animal costume, which is why our contestant was disemboweled and served for bear dinner so quickly in the first episode. We decided to hire the world’s top theatrical costume designers to create an excellent tiger costume for Episode 2. Anticipating a blockbuster smash, we took our new contestant and his brilliant Bengal Tiger outfit to India and began filming as he adapted to the man-eating tiger world. Unfortunately, a Saudi Prince happened to end his hunting expedition the same day we started shooting, and on his way out of the jungle decided he wanted to take a souvenir tiger back to his home palace. While Species Swap cameras trailed quietly behind the tiger mimicking contestant, our star was suddenly swept up by the Prince’s hunting party and before we could react accordingly, he was locked in an iron cage and airlifted out of the country. We haven’t heard from him since.

Episode 3 – Sharks

We had learned enough by Episode 3 to have a clear understanding of what was needed to engineer the perfect show, so we created a costume that would allow contestants to integrate themselves safely into the natural world. Armed with the massive budget we earned after the Saudi Prince gave us a small stake in his oil fields when we agreed to keep quiet about our missing tiger contestant, the crew created a one-man ultra-futuristic submersible vehicle that not only looked exactly like a Great White Shark, but could replicate the agility and speed of the incredible predator. Contestant safety had always been our first priority, so the Shark Sub was fitted with extra oxygen tanks and multiple armor layers, insuring that no shark could bite through. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security picked up on the Shark Sub’s movements only a few minutes into our first trial run, and confusing our technologically adept reality show creation for an Iranian terrorist sub, they sent out a nearby Los Angeles class nuclear submarine that promptly obliterated our contestant.

Episode 4 – Snakes

We didn’t realize the American government had ruined our latest episode until floating Shark Sub debris began rising to the surface. We decided that the next episode had to take place somewhere that no one really cared about, so we headed to the American Bible Belt. The crew designed a remarkable anti-venom snake costume for our latest contestant. As long as you don’t have to worry about getting bitten, snakes are remarkably easy to live with. Unfortunately, some of those Christian fundamentalist “Snake Handlers” captured our contestant while he sunbathed with some baby rattle snakes. They used our contestant in one of their snake bite ceremonies, which recent presidential dropout and fanatical Christian fundamentalist Mike Huckabee happened to join. As each real snake leapt out and fatally bit its lunatic handler, our star did his best snake bite impersonation, which failed to break Huckabee’s leathery Baptist skin. Obviously, Huckabee didn’t die from this bite, and the congregation believed he had been chosen by God to live forever.

A powerful evangelical movement grew around Huckabee’s new God-like snake power, propelling the ex-Arkansas governor to run on the independent ticket for the 2008 Presidential election. The story of his snake bite survival spread throughout the country and he became a mythological figure, which ultimately helped him win the presidential election, narrowly defeating the nations first two headed mutant candidate, which formed after Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fell into a pit of radioactive ooze at the Democratic convention and their bodies melded together to create one incredibly hope-filled but physically hideous Democratic candidate.

Episode 5 – Mountain Gorilla

Upon Huckabee’s ascension to the United States Presidency, a sweeping criminal reform movement took place that jailed anyone who wasn’t a Christian fundamentalist. To save my own ass, I informed Huckabee that the snake that bit him was actually a contestant from my botched reality show. Realizing that I was the reason he had achieved ultimate Democratic power, the good Christian Huckabee granted me and my crew a full pardon, but demanded that we continue the show in his honor. We promptly set out to the Congo to being filming our next contestant living with the endangered Silverback Gorilla. Knowing that male Silverbacks are highly territorial, we gave the constant a female suit and sprayed him with female pheromones to mask his male scent and protect him from aggressive males. Unfortunately the plan backfired because we started filming during the mating season, so instead of attacking our contestant, every Silverback male for 30 miles traveled down from the mountains to have their way with the suited man. The resulting Gorilla group orgy lasted for three days, and we were powerless to do anything to stop it because Silverbacks are endangered, so the use of force to save our contestant would have resulted in an extended visit to a Congolese prison. However, over 72 hours of Gorilla sexual plundering created some truly disturbing footage that Fox executives did not want to air, but still bought for “personal research.”


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America’s Next Top Dictator

Posted by viveknarain on March 7, 2008

The once unpredictable and exciting world of reality television has stagnated in a pit of formulaic monotony. The American people are tired of seeing the same petty cat fights and drunken emotional break downs that occur with uneventful regularity in every show. It used to be exciting to see someone get slapped on MTV’s the Real World, but now I’ve become so desensitized that I barely bat an eye when two half-naked women body slam each other in another pointless reality challenge.

To improve ratings and maintain viewers, the major television networks must take the reality show formula to a new global level of pain and humiliation. The answer to the reality show slump can be found by taking one of the most popular reality shows of all time to an entirely new level of disaster.

My pitch to the major television networks is simple: Take the recipe for America’s Next Top Model, but replace the beautiful women with a group of world dictators and call it America’s Next Top Dictator. From Guatemala to Uzbekistan, America has a long history of aiding ruthless third world dictators, and the current international stage is ripe with some truly sexy totalitarian oppressors. With many of our old international buddies turning against us, it’s time for America to pick a new dictator lapdog. What better way for America to decide if they want to favor Abdullah over Musharraf than through weekly televised events? The torture, murder, and general oppression of an entire culture is far more exciting to watch than people eating egg brains or going on blind dates. America’s Next Top Dictator would be a ratings giant!

So here is my pitch for America’s Next Top Dictator, I figured out an excellent judge’s panel, the perfect weekly contests, and even recommendations for contestants to choose. I don’t think the networks can afford to let this go.

America’s Next Top Dictator: Judges Panel

There is only one man who can host America’s Next Top Dictator. This monolith of tyranny wrote the book on dictatorship himself. This communism-loving bearded bad ass brought style and innovation into the authoritarian world; I’m talking about none other than the freshly retired Fidel Castro.

Castro knows what it takes to please America, because he knows how to survive longer than anyone else as America’s number one enemy. Castro can suppress individual freedoms with the best of them, and despite the production crew’s complaints after editing his nine hour speeches each week, Castro is perfectly positioned to take on the role that fellow diva dictator Tyra Banks perfected. Castro’s infinite knowledge of dictator life will prove invaluable as the fledgling dictators look for their chance to shine on network television.

The Judges panel will feature Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and CIA director Michael Hayden. Gates is a perfect dictator judge, he has already proven his love for autocratic regimes through his involvement with the Iran-contra affair, and his skill at skewing Russian intelligence reports while serving as CIA director would impress any of our top dictator hopefuls.

Dictator Weekly Challenges

Much like its highly successful predecessor, America’s Next Top Dictator will force contestants to overcome a gauntlet of difficult challenges for our viewing pleasure. These challenges are carefully designed to test the true skills of a Top Dictator and ensure each contestant’s commitment to wield supreme authoritarian power over their helpless country.

The expert judges will vote on the best dictator performance after each challenge, removing the lowest performing tyrant each week. Weekly challenges will force the contestants to elude coup attempts and see which dictator can find and torture spies in a group of innocents the fastest.

Other challenges will include who can manipulate newspapers and journalists in the most effective manner, who can allow America to build a military base inside their country the quickest, and who can torture members of their own party with the most creative flair after becoming paranoid that their closest allies are plotting against them.

A special event will be hosted by guest judge and fellow lunatic rambling speech expert Tyra Banks, who will help the panel choose which dictator can give the most hysterical and hate-filled ignorant speech to a square full of frightened minions.

Tyra Banks will return for The Sexy Space Suit Dictator Photo Shoot, a surprise final challenge where remaining dictator contestants dress up in man-thongs and space helmets and see who can strike the best moon conquering pose next to their respective national flags.

Contestant Strategies

King Abdullah is the heavy favorite to win Top Dictator; he already enjoys the golden spoon of American favor courtesy of the Saudi Oil that our country laps up like breast milk. With his rich history as an American lapdog, this Saudi King will be hard to beat in the eyes of the Americans who love him and ignore his anti-Semitic, freedom squashing leadership methods.

China’s supreme leader Hu Jintao is another good candidate, the sheer economic power he wields with China and the upcoming Olympic Games puts him ahead of the competition, but Jintao’s utter disregard for human rights violations is no joke, and the forced abortions and religious detainments he sponsors may outweigh China’s global economic persuasiveness.

Kim Jong-Il is the Top Dictator rebel, and like the classic reality show villains before him, Jon-Il will continually remind the other dictators that he is not in this show to make “friends,” and will use disturbing nuclear antics to try and coerce a top spot in the finals.

Robert Mugabe has helped Zimbabwe’s citizens capture the awards for world’s shortest life expectancy, highest percentage of orphans, and worst inflation rate, so he has a lot of sucking up to do, but his charismatic speeches may just make him a contender.

The lack of American response to the extreme amounts of death that Omar al-Bashir has caused in Darfur means that he must be doing something phenomenal behind the scenes, so this mass murderer masquerading as a respectable leader might just be the dark horse of Top Dictator.

Pervez Musharraf uses the war on terror to gain American favor and hide his oppression of the Pakistani people. The amount of aid given to Musharraf by America must mean he has a good chance to win.

After the final challenge, the remaining contestants will be chosen via text message vote by the American people, thus assuring public approval of America’s new Top Dictator. The winner will immediately pledge to do arms dealing only with America, as well as restricting trade to only countries we approve of. In return, they will be allowed to do whatever their twisted minds desire to their people without fear of overt American intervention. The winner would retain their Top American Dictator title until a new winner is chosen on the next season’s show.

I think America’s Next Top Dictator has a lot of potential to receive stellar ratings, and help improve American foreign relations. It’s a win, win situation. I’ll keep you posted as the offers come streaming in.

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