My colleague Alan Sepinwall and I were arguing about the current state of reality shows -- he is a little more forgiving at the moment than I am -- and of course, that led to the thought any dissatisfied TV viewer has.
You know: ''I can do better than this!''
For instance, ''Landscape!'' a combination of a couple of recent threads on ''Survivor'' and ''The Apprentice.''
Hosted by Susie Coelho (''Surprise Gardener''), the show would seek the next great landscaper. Of course, Gary Hogeboom would compete -- only this time he would tell everyone that he IS a former NFL player, so who would expect landscaping experience.
The challenges would involve exotic locations and rampant self-promotion. You would hear Coelho say, ''For this event, we are going to one of the finest hotels I have ever seen, the Ritz-Carlton Huntington in Pasadena! I adore its fine floral displays and meticulously maintained grounds. Today, our two teams -- 'There Must Be a Pony' and 'Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom' -- will each try to come up with a better design for the horseshoe garden. But the design must be game-related!''
Pony struggles when it realizes that its planned croquet-mallet scheme is too complicated to compete on deadline. Hundred Flowers goes simpler -- trying to turn the horsehoe into a circle, which it claims is a Hula Hoop -- but has a falling-out over the proper color sequence for the mums. Pony ekes out a win, sending Hundred Flowers to the Greenhouse for an elimination ceremony. There someone will hear Coelho say, ''You're mulch!''
Next week: A visit to Aaron Spelling's estate, where the teams have to mow the names of all his series into the lawn. And here's the twist: It has to be in flowing script!
If that doesn't work for you, how about this: ''Virgin!''
I know, Fox probably already thought of that title. But let's go ahead.
Adam from ''The Apprentice'' would host this competition in which seven men and seven women must figure out who among them is, well, you know. In the opening telecast, each is asked about his or her experience, and answers with the new catchphrase, ''I'm really not comfortable talking about it.''
Various competitions are used to get information: The drunken party, the ''What would you do on 'Temptation Island' quiz,'' anything but actually getting a contestant in bed. Of course, in these close quarters, with all this talk about intimate behavior, some contestants may fall into each other's arms. (Memo to Fox: Cast former ''Real World'' stars in the first series.) Imagine the shock, then, when one contestant declares that another is a virgin only to discover he's not -- as of the night before!
Other things could happen, too. But I'm really not comfortable talking about them.
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