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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What is the most positive, most productive concept for a reality show you can think of?

Apparently some celebrity judge or other has been booted from a popular reality gong show. Oh, and that other person famous for being famous will be appearing on that other top-rated reality nontalent showcase. Also, too: some idiot from another reality competition was arrested for something or other.

I don’t watch reality shows, but they’re so prevalent and so popular that it’s often hard to avoid hearing the latest gossip about them. And invariably, the latest gossip mirrors the ethos of these programs: crass, opportunistic, shallow, grasping, backstabbing, and just plain dim-witted, with a hearty measuring of ruthless heckling thrown in. I suppose that’s why audiences watch these shows and eat up the gossip: because they enjoy seeing the worst aspects of human nature on display for all to see.
But surely there must be a way to harness something of what makes these shows popular while also highighting the best of human nature.

What is the most positive, most productive concept for a reality show you can think of?

How about a competition among small, family-run construction companies to see which can built the most new houses in two months in tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa, Alabama or Joplin, Missouri? How about a contest among high school teachers to see which can best inspire their students to new heights of academic achievement?

Could such things be possible? Would they work as entertainment? What other concepts might work better?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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