Reality TV programs. Love them or hate them, they are the new wave of media entertainment. Production companies love them because they are cheap to produce and usually feature the average punter that, when a camera is pointed at them do something they wouldn’t normally do or simply crash and burn. Much like Trail Zone DVDs.
For those who regularly read my column and I know you do… well I know there’s two of you. My Mum and Clubby whose job it is to check my work with the sole purpose of fending off any legal action. Actually, he once let one go through in Trail Zone and a constant dribble of hate mail from V Strom owners has been haunting me ever since. Never mind though as I’ve tracked down the IP address and they’ve all come from a district just north of Raymond Terrace. Anyhow, as I was saying for those who regularly read my column will know I come from the Sutherland Shire south of Sydney, New South Wales.
So when a couple of years back, when a reality program called ‘The Shire’ was announced, all hell broke loose south of the Georges River and there was talk of defensive lines being set up reminiscent of the Cronulla riots. Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of American style reality programs filled with dysfunctional wannabe’s whose lives spill from one social conflict to the other. So I found myself asking the question, ‘What reality program would I watch on TV?’
It’s obvious that the adventure travel genre is out starting point and if you look at the precedents set by Long Way Round, Long Way Down and the whole Motorbikin’ series, they don’t have components of the current reality TV formula. So with that in mind I thought I’d come up with some concepts that would fit with current reality TV producers twisted line of thinking.
The Biggest Equipment Loser
The concept is a bunch of adventure riders take their over-weight and over-equipped adventure bikes and reduce their dry weight. The mental torment of actually having to remove accessories proves too much for all the contestants.
Adventure Bike Idol
This basically is a show about who looks good, has all the cool adventure clothing and cool fully farkled bikes and has nothing to do with riding talent what so ever. The show fails when motorcycle journalists dominant the competition.
Australias Next Top Tyre Changer
Contestants have to change tyres in the shortest possible time using various tools. Even though they employ different exotic locations and different bikes the show becomes boring after the first 60 seconds.
Master Adventure Chef
Who can prepare the best meal after carrying the ingredients across hundreds of kilometres of difficult terrain and then preparing a meal out of the ground up remains at a remote location? Nearly everybody is eliminated in the first round for using freeze dry food and beer which, is the staple diet of the travelling adventure rider.
Cameras go behind the scenes of motorcycle magazines as they cut and paste information from the internet.
This is where the Off Road Explorer team go on the net and find heroic tales and online advice on web forums and blow them out of the water. The program proves very successful dispelling much of the waffle that is published on web forums.
I had a few more including ‘So You Think You Can Ride’ but you get the picture.