Reality TV Idea #1: “I Complete Me” July 30, 2009Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
Tags: co-dependent couples, couple-mania, favorite hobbies, letting go, losing self, single living, sleeping alone, solo dining, traveling solo
Hi everyone. Today, Jezebel alerted me to this EXCELLENT and highly entertaining video:
(Both Christina and I laughed hysterically and said “Oh my god, it’s SO TRUE!”)
The thing is, the Blogulator‘s got it right — for sitcoms and gender stereotypes, at least. But this got me thinking that we need a show that, instead of reversing the way married men and women are portrayed on TV, would subvert the way that singles are (most often) portrayed on TV — as desperate, lonely losers always struggling to find a mate. And where has television cornered the market on this portrayal of single people? That’s right — Reality TV! Take your pick — from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (those old standards), to Rock of Love, More to Love, or a Shot at Love, to Blind Date (which, I’ll admit, is a personal fave), to Joe Millionaire, to Who Wants to Marry My Dad, and even Married by America — the basic premise of all these shows is that if you’re single, it’s time for an intervention!
So, Christina and I have decided to pitch our own Reality TV show, called I Complete Me. We don’t have any illusions that anyone will actually take us up on the offer (hell, there’s no way Fat Wife would make it), but just for kicks, here’s what we propose:
I Complete Me
(alternate title: A Shot at Independence)
Summary: Instead of forcing (supposedly inept) single people into the world of coupling, (overly dependent and unhealthily) coupled people are forced to navigate the world as singles for a full month. Both members of a pair are ranked and judged against other pairs according to how well they handle the single life.
Contestants: Pairs are nominated and chosen on the basis of how “unhealthy” their friends and family think the pair has become as a result of coupling. The best contestants are those who (separately or together) have lost track of the “selves” that friends and family used to know and love. Have they stopped paying attention to their single friends? Have they dropped their favorite hobbies? Is every weekday and weekend night spent, in some way, shape or form, with the significant other? Do couples take personal offense at invitations that do not automatically include the significant other?
Goal: Emerge from the month able to live independently of your significant other, aware of the consequences (to yourself and others) of couple-maniacal behavior, and committed to coupling only in ways that promote the best and healthiest sense of your (individual) self.
How to Win: Success (which the producers and audience know, but the participants don’t) is measured according to the following criteria:
- Ability to maintain/develop relationships with others other than the individual’s significant other. When this occurs without prompting, bonus points are given.
- Ability to travel alone and have fun doing it.
- Ability to make choices that match what friends and family have noted were the contestant’s “favorite” activities prior to coupling.
- Ability to eat alone, without anxiety.
- Ability to sleep alone without sensory or sentimental supplements to remind one of significant other (such as using the significant other’s T-shirt as a pillowcase).
- Ability to let go of desire for constant contact/communication. Going 48 hours without communication (texting, emailing, phoning) constitutes significant progress.
Reward: $100,000 for the couple to split — to be spent on solo or group expeditions (no resort/honeymoon-type vacations allowed!).
So, Copious Readers — what do you think? Can we sell this bad boy or what?