So there's a new show debuting this week called The Slap—which I swear to god I thought was a reality show about people slapping each other. Unfortunately, it's not a reality show at all, and I'll get into what it's really about in a minute... but first? My dream reality show about people slapping each other.
Now, as you can imagine, I get slapped. A LOT. I say something I think is perfectly harmless... and then WHAMMO! A big fat palm comes flying out of nowhere, striking the side of my face and sending my teeth flying across the room like someone spilled a box of Chiclets. Then it's back to the dentist, pay $5,000 to get my mouth fixed, return to the person I insulted, apologize, say something else insulting, and once again, WHAMMO! (History repeating itself can be a real dick sometimes.)
Anyway! Since it's so expensive to go to the dentist these days, why shouldn't I get paid for the trouble by inventing a slapping-based reality show? Here's how it could work: You put eight people on a deserted island infested with angry bears. There's no food or water, and... did I mention the contestants are naked? They're all naked. The only housing on the island is a haunted mansion... actually, it's not a mansion, it's a deserted insane asylum. Haunted by Nazi ghosts. Anyway, the hosts of the show are Kim Kardashian and possible Republican presidential nominee/Christian homophobe Mike Huckabee. Now, Kim and Mike think they're leading the contestants in a bunch of physical and mental challenges—kinda like what happens in Survivor... BUT! Unbeknownst to them, the REAL point of the game is to see who can slap the shit out of Kim and Mike the most times without them ever catching on. (Note: For obvious reasons, only women contestants can slap Kim, but anybody can slap Mike. Including Kim, the angry bears, and the Nazi ghosts.)
I sent this idea to the networks, and shockingly it met the same fate as the other 3,047 ideas I've sent their way. (Cue Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven.") Instead, NBC took a slightly different route with my concept and is debuting it this week as a drama under the title The Slap (Thurs Feb 12, 8 pm).
Based on the novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap begins with an extended family enjoying a fun backyard barbecue, when one of the kids starts swinging a baseball bat around like a real butthole. Fearing for his own child's safety, a dad (Zachary Quinto) steps in to discipline the bat-wielding kid—but pushes it way too far by slapping the crap out of him. Everybody freaks out, the cops are called, charges are filed, and in future episodes, we see the slap replayed again and again from the perspective of other partygoers... and how the event eventually breaks the family apart.
Yeah. Not as fun as a show about slapping Mike Huckabee. However, I will admit no other show on TV is taking on the issue of corporal punishment and the importance of parental responsibility—so you might want to check it out. Besides, it's nice to see someone else get slapped for a change! (WHAMMO! Ow. Tears in heaven.)
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11
10:00 FX THE AMERICANS
Elizabeth and Philip try to slap some sense into the Russian government. (Get it?)
10:00 POP SCHITT’S CREEK
Debut! Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star as bankrupt rich folk banished to a small town.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12
8:00 NBC THE SLAP
Debut! An adult slaps someone else’s kid… and the Chiclets fly!
9:00 ABC SCANDAL
Olivia tries to escape from a prison run by evil genius Shonda Rhimes.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13
8:00 ABC BE MY VALENTINE, CHARLIE BROWN
Tired of pursuing the little red-haired girl, Charlie gives Tinder a try.
Midnight AMAZON BOSCH
Debut! A crime series based on Michael Connelly’s detective books, and starring Deadwood’s Titus Welliver!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14
10:00 A&E SEXY BEASTS
Debut! A dating show where two people wear hideous masks to remove “looks” from the equation. Sorry, no slaps.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15
8:00 NBC SNL 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
A celebration of SNL’s 40 years, with guest stars Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and… Sarah Palin!
9:30 HBO TOGETHERNESS
A reunion of old friends is ruined when the venue is stolen by a “kick the can” team.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16
10:00 AMC BETTER CALL SAUL
Jimmy is eager to prove his violent client is innocent… until he gets a SLAP for his trouble.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
8:30 ABC REPEAT AFTER ME
Debut! Ellen DeGeneres produces this prank show where celebs are instructed to screw with normal people’s brains.
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
Ava makes a drastic decision and calls on Raylan’s guns for a little help.
You can’t slap me on Twitter! @WmSteveHumphrey