I Love Television
Why I'm Too "Real" for Reality Shows
Oh, sure—I could've been a reality TV star. In fact, there have been no less than three thwarted attempts to turn my life into a reality series... but here's what went horribly wrong: I WAS WAY TOO REEEEAL! While most reality show participants do whatever they can to portray themselves as "nice, redeemable characters," I prefer the opposite. I demand extreme close-ups of me clipping my toenails, squeezing blackheads, and giving self-administered prostate exams. When I have poopy squirts, I drag the cameraperson along to the can—just so YOU'LL have a "ringside" seat for all the action! And I absolutely insist on a "saddle cam" during my annual Fourth of July Nude Donkey Races. (I'm nude... not the donkey. He's wearing a nice jacket.)
Frankly speaking, after three failed attempts, not a single camera operator in the world will agree to work with me. And to them I say, "BAWK! BAWK! BAWK! BUH-CAWWWW!! BAWK! BAWK! BAAAAWWWWK!!"
(That was my impersonation of a chicken... did you pick up on that?)
I thought videographers were supposed to be the most fearless people on the planet! What about all those war journalists? What about the nature photogs who climb the highest, most dangerous peaks? What about the Real World camerapeople who've survived 28 years of herpes?
Apparently, the only good cinematographers are fictional cinematographers—like the ones who would never put the camera down in movies like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, or Paranormal Activity—even when they're being disemboweled by witches and monsters and stuff! Well, now there's a new TV series we add to that list debuting this week, called Siberia (NBC, Mon July 1, 10 pm).
At first glance, Siberia is just another average, boring reality show that shamelessly rips off Survivor. Sixteen contestants are dumped in the Siberian wilderness of Tunguska—where a giant explosion took place (possibly caused by a meteoroid) back in 1908. The contestants must survive a harsh winter in order to claim a huge cash prize... aaaaand now's when things get WEIRD. When one of the contestants is seriously injured, the cast realizes—well—nobody's around to help them. No producers, no network, no NOBODY. They're completely stranded... aaaand now's when things get REALLY WEIRD, because winter's coming, there's no food or shelter, strange howling noises are coming from the woods, bizarre supernaturalish shit (possibly radiating from the meteor crater) occurs, one by one the contestants start to disappear, and EEEEEEEEEE!!! PLEASE TELL ME YOU CAMERAPEOPLE ARE FILMING THIS!!
And yep, because this reality series is a fictional series, the entire show is shot in shaky-cam Survivor style, presumably by fictional camera operators who would NEVER drop their equipment—even when the ass is being eaten out of them by an alien tiger. (I'm not saying there are ass-eating alien tigers on this show... but I am saying there should be.)
So take a note, real-life camerapeople! Watch Siberia this Monday on NBC, and learn how REAL fictional cinematographers do it! (BTW, my prostate is ready for its close-up.)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
8:00 CBS BIG BROTHER
Season premiere! This season begins with the new houseguests being eaten by an alien tiger. I WISH.
9:00 TLC TODDLERS & TIARAS
Kids get dolled up to compete in a Bollywood pageant in DALLAS. Racism has never been so adorable!
THURSDAY, JUNE 27
9:00 SYFY INDEPENDENCE DAY-SASTER—Movie
(2013) Not to be confused with that other Independence Day movie without the “saster” on the end. (Though that’s what they’re hoping.)
9:30 HBO THE OUT LIST
Interviews with LGBT leaders in politics and entertainment, including dreamboat Neil Patrick Harris!
FRIDAY, JUNE 28
10:30 IFC MARON
Season finale! Parks and Rec’s Adam Scott offers Marc some very shitty advice. Don’t listen to him; he’s a LIIIIIARRRR!!
SATURDAY, JUNE 29
8:00 LIF ANNA NICOLE—Movie
(2013) As if Anna Nicole Smith hasn’t suffered enough, here’s a terrible, exploitative movie about her from Lifetime.
SUNDAY, JUNE 30
8:00 ABC CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP
The wives of ex-wrestlers Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper switch places, aaaaand… things aren’t that different!
9:00 SHO DEXTER
Season premiere! The police investigate a victim with pieces of his brain missing, or as Dexter knows it: “midday snack.”
MONDAY, JULY 1
8:00 NBC AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR
Season premiere! A new season of insane obstacle courses, and the shirtless hunks that run them.
10:00 NBC SIBERIA
Debut! Strange things happen to contestants of a reality show set in the wilds of Siberia—which hopefully includes a bottom-eating alien tiger!
TUESDAY, JULY 2
10:00 TLC MY TEEN IS PREGNANT AND SO AM I
Stay tuned for next week’s episode: “My teen is humiliated by my putting her on TV—and me? Not so much.”
10:30 COM INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
Season finale! Amy wakes up in bed with two guys, and competes in a reality show… perhaps featuring an alien tiger?
My Twitter: waaay too real. @WmSteveHumphrey